The fabrication of low-impedance nanoporous gold multiple-electrode arrays for neural electrophysiology studies

Erkin Seker, Yevgeny Berdichevsky, Matthew R. Begley, Michael L. Reed, Kevin J. Staley, Martin L. Yarmush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Neural electrodes are essential tools for the study of the nervous system and related diseases. Low electrode impedance is a figure of merit for sensitive detection of neural electrical activity and numerous studies have aimed to reduce impedance. Unfortunately, most of these efforts have been tethered by a combination of poor functional coating adhesion, complicated fabrication techniques, and poor fabrication repeatability. We address these issues with a facile method for reliably producing multiple-electrode arrays with low impedance by patterning highly adherent nanoporous gold films using conventional microfabrication techniques. The high surface area-to-volume ratio of self-assembled nanoporous gold results in a more than 25-fold improvement in the electrode-electrolyte impedance, where at 1kHz, 850 kΩ impedance for conventional Au electrodes is reduced to 30 kΩ for nanoporous gold electrodes. Low impedance provides a superior signal-to-noise ratio for detection of neural activity in noisy environments. We systematically studied the effect of film morphology on electrode impedance and successfully recorded field potentials from rat hippocampal slices. Here, we present our fabrication approach, the relationship between film morphology and impedance, and field potential recordings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125504
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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