Arrays of gold microelectrodes made from split integrated circuit chips

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A simple and inexpensive way to fabricate arrays of gold microelectrodes is proposed. Integrated circuit chips are sawed through their middle, normal to the longest axis, leading to destruction of the silicon circuit and rupture of the gold wires that interconnect it with the external terminals. Polishing the resulting rough surface converts the tips of the wires embedded in the chip halves into arrays of gold microdisks of about 25 mu m diameter. The number of active microelectrodes (MEs), of an array depends on the number of pins in the chip, n, being typically (n/2)-4. These MEs can be used individually or externally interconnected in any combination. X-ray images of the chips and micrographs of the resulting surface of the polished arrays have revealed variable distances between neighbor MEs, which are, however, larger than 10 times the radius of the disks. This feature of the MEs prevents diffusional cross-talk between electrodes. The use of these microdisk electrodes for analytical purposes exhibits sigmoidal voltammograms, and chronoamperometric experiments confirm the nonlinear i vs. t(1/2) plots, typical for processes where radial diffusion prevails. Satisfactory uniformity was observed for the response of each electrode of an array, indicating similarity of geometry and disk areas. The potentialities of these MEs were demonstrated by the determination of cadmium at ppb levels using square wave voltammetry with preconcentration. Due to the relative ease with which these MEs can be manufactured and their good performance in (chemical) analysis, wide applications in electrochemistry and electroanalysis is envisioned.




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Electroanalysis. Weinheim: Wiley-v C H Verlag Gmbh, v. 9, n. 4, p. 335-339, 1997.

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