Correlation of Low-Frequency Noise to the Dynamic Properties of the Sensing Surface in Electrolytes
Low-frequency noise (LFN) is of significant implications in ion sensing. As a primary component of LFN for ion sensing in electrolytes, the solid/liquid interfacial noise remains poorly explored especially regarding its relation to the surface binding/debinding dynamic properties. Here, we employ impedance spectroscopy to systematically characterize this specific noise component for its correlation to the dynamic properties of surface protonation (i.e., hydrogen binding) and deprotonation (i.e., hydrogen debinding) processes. This correlation is facilitated by applying our recently developed interfacial impedance model to ultrathin TiO2 layers grown by means of atomic layer deposition (ALD) on a TiN metallic electrode. With an excellent fitting of the measured noise power density spectra by the model for the studied TiO2 layers, we are able to extract several characteristic dynamic parameters for the TiO2 sensing surface. The observed increase of noise with TiO2 ALD cycles can be well accounted for with an increased average binding site density. This study provides insights into how detailed surface properties may affect the noise performance of an ion sensor operating in electrolytes.