Electrochemical surface structuring

The electrochemical structuration of surfaces allows for an easy, low-cost fabrication of structures and motifs less than 10 nm in size. The expertise developed by highly qualified personnel makes the potential fields of applications wide ranging, from micro-electronics to energy and biomaterials.

The controlled surface electrodeposition of metals or organic molecules makes it possible to obtain coatings a few nanometres thick. Electrochemical parameters allow the precise control of the thickness as well as the density of these coatings. Materials modified in this manner have different physico-chemical properties. For example, the electrodeposition of specific organic molecules on materials allows the functionalization of their surface, rendering them biocompatible. This process is directly applicable to the production of prostheses, implants or probes.  

The use of masks (in the form of porous alumina or polyester beads) during the electrodeposition process makes it possible to selectively block the deposition of the material. This results in surfaces consisting of structured motifs. Generally speaking, the electrodeposition of metals leads to the formation of metal structures which significantly increase the surface area of materials. This process has a direct application, for example, in energy storage. The electrodeposition of organic molecules, meanwhile, allows the production of surfaces coated in structured organic motifs for the development of biosensors. It is possible to create hybrid surfaces consisting of different metals, different organic molecules or a mix of the two (metal / organic).   

Furthermore, the controlled electrochemical growth of metal oxides allows the formation of self-assembled pores or tubes on the surface. The use of adequate electrochemical parameters allows precise control of their growth (depth of pores, length of tubes), as well as their morphology (diameter, thickness). This process also has direct applications in the storage of energy.   

Finally, our electrochemical analysis equipment allows the subsequent characterization of the electrochemical properties of these structured materials: electroactivity (cyclic voltametry, SECM), measurement of corrosion and conductivity (electrochemical impedance), charge/discharge cycles (battery tester).