Dan Bizzotto

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Dan Bizzotto


Research and Teaching Interests

Electrochemical processes form the basis for many chemical phenomena; the purification of metals, the detection method used in some biosensors, the creation of electrical energy in a fuel cell. Study of the chemistry that occurs on an electrode surface requires the use of many electrochemical techniques as well as in-situ spectroscopic and microscopic tools. Our main research focus is the study of molecular films adsorbed onto electrode surfaces. We investigate how the electric potential changes the nature of the molecules on the electrode surface. We probe these changes using electrochemistry (voltammetry, impedance, chronocoulometry) and in-situ spectroscopies such as FTIR, reflectance, Raman, and fluorescence in addition to AFM. We have also used these techniques to probe the electrocatalytic properties of Pt and Pt - alloy catalysts that may find use in fuel cell applications

Current projects include:

In-situ Fluorescence Microscopy Characterization of Modified Electrode Surfaces

We have developed a unique tool to study electrode surfaces modified by the adsorption of molecules like fatty alcohols, alkylthiols, thiolated DNA, etc. This method is able to 'see' heterogeneity or uneven coverage by these molecules. Using this method, we hope to provide insight into the nature of these regions and preparation methods that minimize these areas. The surfaces under study usually form the basis for a number of biosensors.

We are currently collaborating with Prof. H. Yu (SFU chemistry) investigating the nature of the DNA self-assembled monolayers (SAMs); with Prof. C. Buess-Herman (ULB, Belgium) investigating the characteristics of aptamer and peptide SAMS; and with Prof. F. Maran (UPD, Italy) on the SAMs of his highly oriented peptide SAMs.

Fuel Cell Catalysis

A better catalyst for the reduction of oxygen, which occurs on the cathode side of the PEM fuel cell is required. Currently, dispersed Pt nanoparticles are used. We are working on a new alloy of Pt that shows an improvement over Pt and is stable in acidic environments. We are using our in-situ probes to study the reaction on this alloy in addition to using this catalyst in a real fuel cell environment.

In addition, we collaborate with Prof. D. Wilkinson and Prof. E. Gynege (CHBE) on the creation of a Pt/Nafion composite material that may be beneficial in fuel cells, decreasing the need for Pt and increasing its stability during fuel cell operation

Electrochemical DNA Sensors

We are also working on an electrochemical method for the detection of TB in collaboration with Prof Glenn Sammis (Chem) and Prof Karen Cheung (Electrical Eng). This project involves electrochemical detection on a microfabricated electrochemical device that will be used in nucleic acid detection.



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Curriculum Vitae


B.Sc., Calgary (1989);

Ph.D., Guelph (J. Lipkowski, 1996);

Postdoctoral, Plymouth Marine Laboratories, Plymouth, UK (A. Nelson, 1996-7) and Fritz Haber Institute der MPG, Berlin, Germany (B. Pettinger, 1997-8).


2015 Prix Jacques Tacussel, International Society of Electrochemistry

2001 Lash Miller Award, Electrochemical Society, Canadian Section




Yu, Z. Landis; Yang, C. Wei Tony; Triffaux, E. ; Doneux, T. ; Turner, R. F. B. ; Bizzotto, D. Measuring And Remediating Non-Specific Modifications Of Gold Surfaces Using A Coupled In-Situ Electrochemical Fluorescence Microscopic Methodology. Analytical Chemistry 2017, 89, 886-894.
Casanova-Moreno, J. ; Yu, Z. Landis; Massey-Allard, J. ; Ditchburn, B. ; Young, J. F. ; Bizzotto, D. In Situ Spectroelectrochemical Fluorescence Microscopy For Visualizing Interfacial Structure And Dynamics In Self-Assembled Monolayers. In Luminescence in Electrochemistry; Luminescence in Electrochemistry; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2017; pp. 21–77.
Yu, Z. L. ; Leung, K. K. ; Yu, H. Zhong; Bizzotto, D. A Non-Linear Harmonic Analysis Of Potential Induced Fluorescence Modulation Of A Dna Self Assembled Monolayer. Electrochimica Acta 2017, 245, 386–394.
Casanova-Moreno, J. ; To, J. ; Yang, C. Wei Tony; Turner, R. F. B. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Cheung, K. C. Fabricating Devices With Improved Adhesion Between Pdms And Gold-Patterned Glass. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 2017, 246, 904–909.


Evetts, N. ; Martens, I. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Longuevergne, D. ; Hardy, W. N. Open Microwave Cavity For Use In A Purcell Enhancement Cooling Scheme. Rev Sci Instrum 2016, 87, 104702–6.
Martens, I. ; Pinaud, B. A. ; Baxter, L. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Bizzotto, D. Controlling Nanoparticle Interconnectivity In Thin-Film Platinum Catalyst Layers. J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 21364–21372.
Mirza, J. ; Martens, I. ; Grüßer, M. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Schuster, R. ; Lipkowski, J. Gold Nanorod Arrays: Excitation Of Transverse Plasmon Modes And Surface-Enhanced Raman Applications. J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 16246–16253.
Yang, C. Wei Tony; Martens, I. ; Gyenge, E. L. ; Turner, R. F. B. ; Bizzotto, D. Adsorption Of A Carboxylated Silane On Gold: Characterization For Its Rational Use In Hybrid Glass/gold Substrates. J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 2675–2683.


Drnec, J. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Carlà, F. ; Fiala, R. ; Sode, A. ; Balmes, O. ; Detlefs, B. ; Dufrane, T. ; Felici, R. An In-Situ X-Ray Diffraction Study On The Electrochemical Formation Of Ptzn Alloys On Pt(111) Single Crystal Electrode. Applied Surface Science 2015, 354, 443–449.
Meunier, A. ; Triffaux, E. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Buess-Herman, C. ; Doneux, T. In Situ Fluorescence Microscopy Study Of The Interfacial Inhomogeneity Of Dna Mixed Self-Assembled Monolayers At Gold Electrodes. ChemElectroChem 2015, 2, 434–442.


Ingle, N. J. C. ; Sode, A. ; Martens, I. ; Gyenge, E. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Bizzotto, D. Synthesis And Characterization Of Diverse Pt Nanostructures In Nafion. Langmuir 2014, 30, 1871–1879.


Alshwawreh, N. ; Militzer, M. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Kuo, J. C. Accelerated Recrystallization In Electrodeposited Dual-Layer Copper Thin Films. Journal of the Electrochemical Society 2013, 160, D3154–D3157.


Alshwawreh, N. ; Militzer, M. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Kuo, J. C. Resistivity-Microstructure Correlation Of Self-Annealed Electrodeposited Copper Thin Films. Microelectronic Engineering 2012, 95, 26–33.


Sode, A. ; Ingle, N. J. C. ; McCormick, M. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Gyenge, E. ; Ye, S. ; Knights, S. ; Wilkinson, D. P. Controlling The Deposition Of Pt Nanoparticles Within The Surface Region Of Nafion. Journal of Membrane Science 2011, 376, 162 - 169.


Sleightholme, A. E. S. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Ye, S. ; Gyenge, E. \Hod L. Nafion Film-Templated Platinum Electrodes For Oxygen Reduction. Electrocatalysis 2010, 1, 22 - 27.
Sode, A. ; Musgrove, A. ; Bizzotto, D. Stability Of Ptzn Nanoparticles Supported On Carbon In Acidic Electrochemical Environments. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2010, 114, 546 - 553.
Alshwawreh, N. ; Militzer, M. ; Bizzotto, D. Recrystallization Of Electrodeposited Copper Thin Films During Annealing. Journal of Electronic Materials 2010, 39, 2476 - 2482.


Murphy, J. N. ; Cheng, A. K. H. ; Yu, H. Z. ; Bizzotto, D. On The Nature Of Dna Self-Assembled Monolayers On Au: Measuring Surface Heterogeneity With Electrochemical In Situ Fluorescence Microscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2009, 131, 4042-4050.
Sode, A. ; Bizzotto, D. Adsorbate-Induced Surface Reorganization On Ptzn Electrode. Electrochimica Acta 2009, 54, 1095-1101.
Bauer, A. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Gyenge, E. L. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Ye, S. Liquid Crystalline Phase Templated Platinum Catalyst For Oxygen Reduction. Journal of the Electrochemical Society 2009, 156, B1169-B1174.


Musgrove, A. ; Kell, A. ; Bizzotto, D. Fluorescence Imaging Of The Oxidative Desorption Of A Bodipy-Alkyl-Thiol Monolayer Coated Au Bead. Langmuir 2008, 24, 7881-7888.
Zhu, L. ; Susac, D. ; Teo, M. ; Wong, K. C. ; Wong, P. C. ; Parsons, R. R. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. ; Campbell, S. A. Investigation Of Cos2-Based Thin Films As Model Catalysts For The Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Journal of Catalysis 2008, 258, 235-242.


Susac, D. ; Zhu, L. ; Teo, M. ; Sode, A. ; Wong, K. C. ; Wong, P. C. ; Parsons, R. R. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. ; Campbell, S. A. Characterization Of Fes2-Based Thin Films As Model Catalysts For The Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2007, 111, 18715-18723.


Zhu, L. ; Susac, D. ; Lam, A. ; Teo, M. ; Wong, P. C. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Campbell, S. A. ; Parsons, R. R. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. Structure Of Sputtered Co-Se Thin Films Prepared For An Application In Catalysis. Journal of Solid State Chemistry 2006, 179, 3942-3948.
Teo, M. ; Wong, P. C. ; Zhu, L. ; Susac, D. ; Campbell, S. A. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. ; Parsons, R. R. ; Bizzotto, D. Characterization Of A Co-Se Thin Film By Scanning Auger Microscopy And Raman Spectroscopy. Applied Surface Science 2006, 253, 1130-1134.
Sode, A. ; Li, W. ; Yang, Y. G. ; Wong, P. C. ; Gyenge, E. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. ; Bizzotto, D. Electrochemical Formation Of A Pt/zn Alloy And Its Use As A Catalyst For Oxygen Reduction Reaction In Fuel Cells. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2006, 110, 8715-8722.
Susac, D. ; Sode, A. ; Zhu, L. ; Wong, P. C. ; Teo, M. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. ; Parsons, R. R. ; Campbell, S. A. A Methodology For Investigating New Nonprecious Metal Catalysts For Pem Fuel Cells. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2006, 110, 10762-10770.


Marziall, A. ; Pel, J. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Whitehead, L. A. Novel Electrophoresis Mechanism Based On Synchronous Alternating Drag Perturbation. Electrophoresis 2005, 26, 82-90.


Chung, E. ; Shepherd, J. L. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Wolf, M. O. Electrochemical Dimerization Of 2-(2’-Thienyl)Pyridine Adsorbed On Au(111) Observed By In Situ Fluorescence. Langmuir 2004, 20, 8270-8278.
Shepherd, J. L. ; Kell, A. ; Chung, E. ; Sinclar, C. W. ; Workentin, M. S. ; Bizzotto, D. Selective Reductive Desorption Of A Sam-Coated Gold Electrode Revealed Using Fluorescence Microscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2004, 126, 8329-8335.
Bartlett, K. ; Yau, E. ; Hartsel, S. C. ; Hamer, A. ; Tsai, G. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Wasan, K. M. Effect Of Heat-Treated Amphotericin B On Renal And Fungal Cytotoxicity. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2004, 48, 333-336.
Guerra, E. ; Kelsall, G. H. ; Bestetti, M. ; Dreisinger, D. ; Wong, K. ; Mitchell, K. A. R. ; Bizzotto, D. Use Of Underpotential Deposition For Evaluation Of Overpotential Deposition Kinetics Of Reactive Metals. Journal of the Electrochemical Society 2004, 151, E1-E6.
Agak, J. O. ; Stoodley, R. ; Retter, U. ; Bizzotto, D. On The Impedance Of A Lipid-Modified Hg Vertical Bar Electrolyte Interface. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2004, 562, 135-144.
Bizzotto, D. ; Yang, Y. G. ; Shepherd, J. L. ; Stoodley, R. ; Agak, J. ; Stauffer, V. ; Lathuilliere, M. ; Akhtar, A. S. ; Chung, E. Electrochemical And Spectroelectrochemical Characterization Of Lipid Organization In An Electric Field. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2004, 574, 167-184.


Shepherd, J. L. ; Bizzotto, D. On The Apparent Fluorescence Recovery Due To Electrosorption. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2003, 107, 8524-8531.


Shepherd, J. ; Yang, Y. ; Bizzotto, D. Visualization Of Potential Induced Formation Of Water-Insoluble Surfactant Aggregates By Epi-Fluorescence Microscopy. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2002, 524, 54-61.
Stoodley, R. ; Shepherd, J. ; Wasan, K. M. ; Bizzotto, D. Amphotericin B Interactions With A Dopc Monolayer. Electrochemical Investigations. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes 2002, 1564, 289-297.
Chung, E. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Wolf, M. O. Potential-Controlled Switching Of 2-(2 ’-Thienyl)Pyridine Adsorbed On Au(111). Chemical Communications 2002, 3026-3027.


Yang, Y. G. ; Bizzotto, D. The Influence Of Electrolyte Concentration On The Adsorption Of Octadecanol On Au(111). Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2001, 500, 408-417.
Stauffer, V. ; Stoodley, R. ; Agak, J. O. ; Bizzotto, D. Adsorption Of Dopc Onto Hg From The G|S Interface And From A Liposomal Suspension. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2001, 516, 73-82.


Bizzotto, D. ; Wong, E. ; Yang, Y. G. Adsorption Of Octadecanol/1-Pyrenenonanol Mixed Monolayers Of Insoluble Surfactant Onto Au(111): An Electrochemical Study. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2000, 480, 233-240.