Constant-distance mode scanning potentiometry. 1. Visualization of calcium carbonate dissolution in aqueous solution
Analytical Chemistry 76(13): 3682-3688
Constant-distance mode scanning potentiometry was established by integrating potentiometric microsensors as ion-selective scanning probes into a SECM setup that was equipped with a piezoelectric shear force-based tip-to-sample distance control. The combination of specially designed micrometer-sized potentiometric tips with an advanced system for tip positioning allowed simultaneous acquisition of both topographic and potentiometric information at solid/liquid interfaces with high spatial resolution. The performance of the approach was evaluated by applying Ca2+-selective constant-distance mode potentiometry to monitor the dissolution of calcium carbonate occurring either at the (104) surface of calcite crystals or in proximity to the more complex surface of cross sections of a calcium carbonate shell of Mya arenaria exposed to slightly acidic aqueous solutions. Micrometer-scale heterogeneities in the apparent calcium activity profiles have successfully been resolved for both samples.