Carbon fibers are an excellent electrode substrate for biological measurements, but are limited by randomized structure and high resistance. Carbon nanotubes are highly ordered and far more conductive than carbon fibers, offering a superior material for electron transport. We are working with Prof. Yuntian Zhu of NCSU Materials and Science & Engineering and Prof. Philip Bradford of Fiber and Polymer Sci to create microelectrodes using yarns spun from multi-walled carbon nanotubes. These offer superior sensitivity and improved mass transport when compared to traditional carbon fibers, as well as many other electrochemical advantages.
Schmidt A.C., Wang X., Zhu Y., Sombers L.A. Carbon Nanotube Yarn Electrodes for Enhanced Detection of Neurotransmitter Dynamics in Live Brain Tissue. ACS Nano. 2013, 7: 7864-7873.
A, B, C) SEMs of carbon nanotube yarn material and disc electrodes. D) Graphical representation of a carbon nanotube yarn brush electrode.