We developed a spectro-electrochemical cell for X-ray absorption and X-ray emission spectroscopy, which are element-specific methods to study local electronic structures in the soft X-ray region. In the usual electrochemical measurement setup, the electrode is placed in solution, and the surface/interface region of the electrode is not normally accessible by soft X-rays that have low penetration depth in liquids. To realize soft X-ray observation of electrochemical reactions, a 15-nm-thick Pt layer was deposited on a 150-nm-thick film window with an adhesive 3-nm-thick Ti layer for use as both the working electrode and the separator window between vacuum and a sample liquid under atmospheric pressure. The designed three-electrode electrochemical cell consists of a Pt film on a SiC window, a platinized Pt wire, and a commercial Ag|AgCl electrode as the working, counter, and reference electrodes, respectively. The functionality of the cell was tested by cyclic voltammetry and X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy. As a demonstration, the electroplating of Pb on the Pt/SiC membrane window was measured by X-ray absorption and real-time monitoring of fluorescence intensity at the O 1s excitation.

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