T. Doneux, L. Bouffier, B. Goudeau, S. Arbault.
The redox couple resazurin-resorufin exhibits electrofluorochromic properties which are investigated herein by absorption and fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry and by electrochemically coupled-fluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy (EC-CLSM). At pH 10, the highly fluorescent resorufin dye is generated at the electrode surface by the electrochemical reduction of the poorly fluorescent resazurin. Performing EC-CLSM at electrode surfaces allows to monitor spatially resolved electrochemical processes in situ and in real time. Using a small (315 μm diameter) cylindrical electrode, a steady-state diffusion layer builds up under potentiostatic conditions at −0.45 V vs Ag|AgCl. Mapping the fluorescence intensity in 3D by CLSM enables us to reconstruct the relative concentration profile of resorufin around the electrode. The comparison of the experimental diffusion-profile with theoretical predictions demonstrates that spontaneous convection has a direct influence on the actual thickness of the diffusion layer, which is smaller than the value predicted for a purely diffusional transport. This study shows that combining fluorescence CLSM with electrochemistry is a powerful tool to study electrochemical reactivity at a spatially resolved level.