Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) has emerged as a versatile tool for studies of interfaces in biology and materials science with notable utility in biophysical and electrochemical measurements. The heart of the SICM is a nanometer-scale electrolyte filled glass pipette that serves as a scanning probe. In the initial conception, manipulations of ion currents through the tip of the pipette and appropriate positioning hardware provided a route to recording micro- and nanoscopic mapping of the topography of surfaces. Subsequent advances in instrumentation, probe design, and methods significantly increased opportunities for SICM beyond recording topography. Hybridization of SICM with coincident characterization techniques such as optical microscopy and faradaic electrodes have brought SICM to the forefront as a tool for nanoscale chemical measurement for a wide range of applications. Modern approaches to SICM realize an important tool in analytical, bioanalytical, biophysical, and materials measurements, where significant opportunities remain for further exploration. In this review, we chronicle the development of SICM from the perspective of both the development of instrumentation and methods and the breadth of measurements performed.

published proceedings

  • Chem Rev

altmetric score

  • 10.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, C., Huang, K., Siepser, N. P., & Baker, L. A.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Cheng||Huang, Kaixiang||Siepser, Natasha P||Baker, Lane A

publication date

  • October 2021