Standard Article

Structure sensitive methods: AFM/STM


Methods in electrocatalysis

  1. L. A. Kibler,
  2. D. M. Kolb

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f203021

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Kibler, L. A. and Kolb, D. M. 2010. Structure sensitive methods: AFM/STM. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Ulm, Department of Electrochemistry, Ulm, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


In this chapter, the principles of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and mainly of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) are described. For applications in electrochemistry, in situ operation and the potentialities of STM and AFM are addressed.

STM, a powerful technique for obtaining local structure information of model electrodes on an atomic level and in real space, is highlighted by several case studies, relevant to fuel cell systems: (i) preparation and characterization of well-ordered noble metal surfaces; (ii) noble metal deposition on foreign substrates; and (iii) nanostructuring of surfaces by the STM tip.


  • anions;
  • cyclic voltammetry;
  • double layer;
  • electrocatalysis;
  • metal/electrolyte interface;
  • metal deposition;
  • scanning probe methods;
  • AFM;
  • STM;
  • underpotential deposition