A method and system for probing mobile ion diffusivity and electrochemical reactivity on a nanometer length scale of a free electrochemically active surface includes a control module that biases the surface of the material. An electrical excitation signal is applied to the material and induces the movement of mobile ions. An SPM probe in contact with the surface of the material detects the displacement of mobile ions at the surface of the material. A detector measures an electromechanical strain response at the surface of the material based on the movement and reactions of the mobile ions. The use of an SPM tip to detect local deformations allows highly reproducible measurements in an ambient environment without visible changes in surface structure. The measurements illustrate effective spatial resolution comparable with defect spacing and well below characteristic grain sizes of the material.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.