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Electrochemical Near-fied Scanning Optical Microscopy / Manipulation and characterization at the nanoScale (ENSOM)
Start date: Oct 1, 2013, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The proposed project aims at developing and delivering a cutting edge analytical tool to provide unprecedented diagnostic capabilities for the characterization of nano/micromaterials of interest for energy conversion and storage, for nanoelectronic and catalysis, among others. To indeed optimize the design of new or existing nano/micromaterials, the fundamental reaction mechanism or properties of the active components have to be evaluated at the particle size level and therefore necessitate the development of a new generation of instrument that can combine physical observation, property characterization and local modification.The instrument we propose to develop, an electrochemical near-field Raman spectroscope (e-NSOM) will be used as a “Nano/Microlab station” that will enable on site modification, nanospectroscopy, compositional mapping and conductivity properties evaluation. Equipped with unique hybrid probes used as ultramicroelectrodes and nano-optical antennas e-NSOM will extract the electrochemical and optical properties of the sample under scrutiny, at the nanoscale and from a single measurement implemented in situ.This combination of several individual functions in a single unit will not only bring new insights in the fundamental understanding of micro and nanomaterials but also open new routes to the functionalization or modification of material at the nanoscale. Initiation and evaluation of the charge propagation within conductive polymers at different time / length scale, control of the delithiation rate (charge depth) of single particle for energy storage and subsequent analysis of the phase propagation, fine tuning of the electron conduction properties of graphene by local grafting of molecules are some of the new routes we intend to explore. By developing and applying e-NSOM, we anticipate major breakthrough in the development of these materials with strong potential for industrial applications."
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