High sensitivity carbon nanotube tower electrodes

Yeo Heung Yun, Vesselin Shanov, Mark J. Schulz*, Zhongyun Dong, Abdul Jazieh, William R. Heineman, H. Brian Halsall, Danny K Y Wong, Adam Bange, Yi Tu, Srinivas Subramaniam

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Highly aligned multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) were synthesized in the shape of towers and used to fabricate chemical sensor electrodes. The towers were fabricated on an Fe/Al2O3/SiO2/Si substrate with the Fe catalyst patterned in 1 mm × 1 mm blocks with 100 μm spacing between the blocks. Thermally driven chemical vapor deposition was used for the nanotube synthesis process. Patterned MWCNT towers up to 4 mm high were grown and easily peeled off the silicon substrate. The synthesized MWCNT towers were characterized by environmental scanning electron microscopy and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. A sensor electrode was then formed by casting epoxy into the tower under pressure and polishing both ends of the tower. One end of the tower served as an electrical connection and the other as a nanoscale array electrode. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) for the reduction of 6.0 mM K3Fe(CN)6 and Ru(NH3)6Cl3 (in a 1.0 M KNO3 supporting electrolyte) was used to examine the surface properties of the nanotube tower electrode. The CV results showed a steady-state response up to 2 V/s attributable to radial diffusion with a high steady-state current density. Cyclic voltammetry testing of these two redox systems showed a sigmoidal shape indicating radial diffusion and high sensitivity at the electrode. Based on the CV results, the carbon nanotube array electrode is a promising candidate for future highly sensitive chemical and biosensor applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-304
    Number of pages7
    JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2006


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