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Electrochemistry of nanocrystalline 3C silicon carbide films

: Yang, N.; Zhuang, H.; Hoffmann, R.; Smirnov, W.; Hees, J.; Jiang, X.; Nebel, C.E.


Chemistry. A European journal 18 (2012), No.21, pp.6514-6519
ISSN: 0947-6539
ISSN: 1521-3765
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()
electrochemistry; nanostructure; silicon carbide; surface chemistry; thin film

Silicon carbide (SiC) films have been used frequently for high-frequency and powder devices but have seldom been applied as the electrode material. In this paper, we have investigated the electrochemical properties of the nanocrystalline 3C-SiC film in detail. A film with grain sizes of 5 to 20 nm shows a surface roughness of about 30 nm. The resistivity of the film is in the range of 3.5-6.2 kWcm. In 0.1m H2SO4 solution, the film has a double-layer capacitance of 30-35 µFcm-2 and a potential window of 3.0 V if an absolute current density of 0.1 mAcm-2 is defined as the threshold. Its electrochemical activity was examined by using redox probes of [Ru(NH3)6]2+/3+ and [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- in aqueous solutions and by using redox probes of quinone and ferrocene in nonaqueous solutions. Diffusion-controlled, quasi-reversible electrode processes were achieved in four cases. The surface chemistry of the nanocrystalline 3C-SiC film was studied by electrochemical grafting with 4-nitrobenzenediazonium salts. The grafting was confirmed by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy. All these results confirm that the nanocrystalline 3CSiC film is promising for use as an electrode material.