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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 & Prof. T. Doneux (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.

Methods to allow for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging have been developed for these DNA SAMs to complement some of these fluorescence studies.

Electrochemical DNA Sensors

With the in-situ analysis of the modified electrode surfaces, we are working towards understanding the assembly of DNA SAMs onto single crystal gold bead electrodes. These electrodes show many different surface features which influence the way the DNA SAM is created and how it behaves. The preparation of these complex surfaces using potential assisted deposition techniques has advantages which are under investigation for improving the quality of the biosensor surfaces.

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



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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




Jun, D. ; Zhang, S. ; Grzedowski, A. Jan; Mahey, A. ; J. Beatty, T. ; Bizzotto, D. Purification And Preparation Of Rhodobacter Sphaeroides Reaction Centers For Photocurrent Measurements And Atomic Force Microscopy Characterization. STAR Protocols 2022, 3, 101044.
Jun, D. ; Sammis, G. ; Rezazadeh-Azar, P. ; Ginoux, E. ; Bizzotto, D. Development Of A Graphene-Oxide-Deposited Carbon Electrode For The Rapid And Low-Level Detection Of Fentanyl And Derivatives. Analytical chemistry 2022, 94, 12706–12714.
Ma, T. ; Grzedowski, A. Jan; Doneux, T. ; Bizzotto, D. Redox-Controlled Energy Transfer Quenching Of Fluorophore-Labeled Dna Sams Enables In Situ Study Of These Complex Electrochemical Interfaces. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2022, 144, 23428–23437.


Jun, D. ; Zhang, S. ; Grzedowski, A. Jan; Mahey, A. ; J. Beatty, T. ; Bizzotto, D. Correlating Structural Assemblies Of Photosynthetic Reaction Centres On A Gold Electrode And The Photocurrent - Potential Response. iScience 2021, 102500.
Martens, I. ; Vamvakeros, A. ; Martinez, N. ; Chattot, R. ; Pusa, J. ; Blanco, M. Valeria; Fisher, E. A. ; Asset, T. ; Escribano, S. ; Micoud, F. ; Starr, T. ; Coelho, A. ; Honkimäki, V. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Jacques, S. D. M. ; Maillard, F. ; Dubau, L. ; Lyonnard, S. ; Morin, A. ; Drnec, J. Imaging Heterogeneous Electrocatalyst Stability And Decoupling Degradation Mechanisms In Operating Hydrogen Fuel Cells. ACS Energy Letters 2021, 6, 2742–2749.


Martens, I. ; Melo, L. G. A. ; West, M. M. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Hitchcock, A. P. Imaging Reactivity Of The Pt–Ionomer Interface In Fuel-Cell Catalyst Layers. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 8285–8292.


Martens, I. ; Vamvakeros, A. ; Chattot, R. ; Blanco, M. V. ; Rasola, M. ; Pusa, J. ; Jacques, S. D. M. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Ruffmann, B. ; Heidemann, S. ; Honkimäki, V. ; Drnec, J. X-Ray Transparent Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Design For In Situ Wide And Small Angle Scattering Tomography. Journal of Power Sources 2019, 437, 226906.
Martens, I. ; Melo, L. G. A. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Hitchcock, A. P. Characterization Of X-Ray Damage To Perfluorosulfonic Acid Using Correlative Microscopy. J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123, 16023–16033.
Martens, I. ; Chattot, R. ; Rasola, M. ; Blanco, M. Valeria; Honkimäki, V. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Drnec, J. Probing The Dynamics Of Platinum Surface Oxides In Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers Using In Situ X-Ray Diffraction. ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2019, 2, 7772–7780.


Bizzotto, D. ; Burgess, I. J. ; Doneux, T. ; Sagara, T. ; Yu, H. Zhong Beyond Simple Cartoons: Challenges In Characterizing Electrochemical Biosensor Interfaces. ACS Sensors 2018, 3, 5-12.
Leung, K. K. ; Gaxiola, A. Diaz; Yu, H. Zhong; Bizzotto, D. Tailoring The Dna Sam Surface Density On Different Surface Crystallographic Features Using Potential Assisted Thiol Exchange. Electrochimica Acta 2018, 261, 188–197.
Verhaven, A. ; Doneux, T. ; Bizzotto, D. Application Of Fret Microscopy To The Study Of The Local Environment And Dynamics Of Dna Sams On Au Electrodes. Langmuir 2018, acs.langmuir.8b02131.


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.
Fisher, E. A. ; Leung, K. K. ; Casanova-Moreno, J. ; Masuda, T. ; Young, J. F. ; Bizzotto, D. Quantifying The Selective Modification Of Au(111) Facets Via Electrochemical And Electroless Treatments For Manipulating Gold Nanorod Surface Composition. Langmuir 2017.
Xu, M. ; Yue, G. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Asselin, E. Electrodeposition Of Aluminum Onto Copper-Coated Printed Circuit Boards. Journal of the Electrochemical Society 2017, 164, D729–D736.
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. Landis; Yang, C. Wei Tony; Triffaux, E. ; Doneux, T. ; Turner, R. F. B. ; Bizzotto, D. Measuring And Remediating Nonspecific Modifications Of Gold Surfaces Using A Coupled In Situ Electrochemical Fluorescence Microscopic Methodology. Analytical Chemistry 2017, 89, 886–894.
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.


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. Journal of Physical Chemistry 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. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120, 2675–2683.
Evetts, N. ; Martens, I. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Longuevergne, D. ; Hardy, W. N. Open Microwave Cavity For Use In A Purcell Enhancement Cooling Scheme. The Review of scientific instruments 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. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120, 21364–21372.


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. L. Nafion Film-Templated Platinum Electrodes For Oxygen Reduction. Electrocatalysis 2010, 1, 22–27.
Alshwawreh, N. ; Militzer, M. ; Bizzotto, D. Recrystallization Of Electrodeposited Copper Thin Films During Annealing. Journal of Electronic Materials 2010, 39, 2476–2482.
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.


Murphy, J. N. ; Cheng, A. K. H. ; Yu, H. Zhong; 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.


Bauer, A. ; Wilkinson, D. P. ; Gyenge, E. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Ye, S. Surfactant Assisted Catalyst Layer Deposition For Pem Fuel Cells. In ECS Transactions; ECS Transactions; ECS, 2008; pp. 1787–1794.
Zhu, L. ; Susac, D. ; Teo, M. ; Wong, K. ; Wong, P. ; Parsons, R. ; Bizzotto, D. ; Mitchell, K. ; Campbell, S. Investigation Of Cos2-Based Thin Films As Model Catalysts For The Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Journal of Catalysis 2008, 258, 235–242.
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.


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 Fes 2-Based Thin Films As Model Catalysts For The Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2007, 111, 18715–18723.


Bizzotto, D. ; Shepherd, J. L. Epi-Fluorescence Microscopy Studies Of Potential Controlled Changes In Adsorbed Thin Organic Films At Electrode Surfaces; Advances in Electrochemical Sciences and Engineering; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH: Weinheim, Germany, 2006; Vol. 9.
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.
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.
Sode, A. ; Li, W. ; Yang, Y. ; 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.
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.


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


Bizzotto, D. ; Yang, Y. ; Shepherd, J. L. ; Stoodley, R. ; Agak, J. O. ; 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. ; 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.
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.
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.
Agak, J. O. ; Stoodley, R. ; Retter, U. ; Bizzotto, D. On The Impedance Of A Lipid-Modified Hg|Electrolyte Interface. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2004, 562, 135–144.
Militzer, M. ; Freundlich, P. ; Bizzotto, D. Abnormal Grain Growth In Electrochemically Deposited Cu Films. Materials Science Forum 2004, 467-470, 1339–1344.


Shepherd, J. L. ; Bizzotto, D. On The Apparent Fluorescence Recovery Due To Electrosorption. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2003, 107, 8524–8531.
Freundlich, P. ; Militzer, M. ; Bizzotto, D. Room Temperature Microstructure Evolution In Electroplated Copper Films. In ECS Transactions; Mathad, G. S. ; ECS Transactions; Electrochemical Society, 2003; pp. 76–83.
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 2003, 48, 333–336.


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.
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, 524-525, 54–61.
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. ; 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. Adsorption Of Octadecanol/1-Pyrenenonanol Mixed Monolayers Of Insoluble Surfactant Onto Au(111): An Electrochemical Study. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2000, 480, 233–240.


Bizzotto, D. ; Pettinger, B. Fluorescence Imaging Studies Of The Electrochemical Adsorption/desorption Of Octadecanol. Langmuir 1999, 15, 8309–8314.



Sagara, T. ; Zamlynny, V. ; Bizzotto, D. Spectroelectrochemical Investigations Of The Spreading Of 4-Pentadecyl Pyridine Onto The Au (111) Electrode. Israel Journal of Chemistry 1997, 197–211.