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Nanoelectrode Performance and Implications for Electroanalysis and Sensing

13 Nov 2013

A systematic study of the influence of nanoelectrode dimensions on electrode performance and the implications for electroanalysis and sensing

Ilka Schmueser, Anthony J. Walton, Jonathan G. Terry, Helena L. Woodvine, Neville J. Freeman and Andrew R. Mount


Micron resolution photolithography has been employed to make microsquare nanoband edge electrode (MNEE) arrays with reproducible and systematic control of the crucial dimensional parameters, including array element size and spacing and nanoelectrode thickness. The response of these arrays, which can be reproducibly fabricated on a commercial scale, is first established. The resulting characteristics (including high signal and signal-to-noise, low limit of detection, insensitivity to external convection and fast, steady-state, reproducible and quantitative response) make such nanoband electrode arrays of real interest as enhanced electroanalytical devices. In particular, the nanoelectrode response is presented and analysed as a function of nanometre scale electrode dimension, to assess the impact and relative contributions of previously postulated nanodimensional effects on the resulting response. This work suggests a significant contribution of migration at the band edges to mass transfer, which affects the resulting electroanalytical response even at ionic strengths as large as 0.7 mol dm-3 and for electrodes as wide as 50 nm. For 5 nm nanobands, additional nanoeffects, which are thought to arise from the fact that the size of the redox species is comparable to the band width, are also observed to attenuate the observed current. The fundamental insight this gives into electrode performance is discussed along with the consequent impact on using such electrodes of nanometre dimension.