Dielectrophoresis-assisted electroconductive polymer-based fabrication of high surface area electrodes
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In this work we present a novel microfabrication process that is based on combined use of dielectrophoresis (DEP) to attract particles or cells to electrodes and to follow this step by an electrodeposition of polypyrrole (PPy) to entrap the particles or cells on electrode surface. This process can be used for mass-production of high surface area structures as well as to the creation of functionally graded materials. DEP was employed to pull the microparticles toward the surface of the electrodes and hold them in place while PPy was electrodeposited. Polystyrene microbeads with diameters ranging from 1 to 10 microns were employed in this study. Experimental results demonstrated that PPy can entrap the particles attracted to the electrode surface by the positive DEP. It was also demonstrated that hierarchical structures can be created where smaller microbeads are attached to, caught and secured on the surface of larger microbeads entrapped on the electrode surface. Furthermore, as DEP can be employed for manipulating of wide variety of polarizable materials, this process can also entrap inorganic and biological microparticles in the fabricated structure. Applications of this work include, but are not limited to, the development of biomedical, electrokinetic, and energy storage devices, electrochemical sensors, and scaffolds. © 2014 SPIE.