Fabrication of 3d Carbon Microelectromechanical Systems (C-MEMS)
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© 2017 Journal of Visualized Experiments.A wide range of carbon sources are available in nature, with a variety of micro-/nanostructure configurations. Here, a novel technique to fabricate long and hollow glassy carbon microfibers derived from human hairs is introduced. The long and hollow carbon structures were made by the pyrolysis of human hair at 900 °C in a N2 atmosphere. The morphology and chemical composition of natural and pyrolyzed human hairs were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), respectively, to estimate the physical and chemical changes due to pyrolysis. Raman spectroscopy was used to confirm the glassy nature of the carbon microstructures. Pyrolyzed hair carbon was introduced to modify screen-printed carbon electrodes ; the modified electrodes were then applied to the electrochemical sensing of dopamine and ascorbic acid. Sensing performance of the modified sensors was improved as compared to the unmodified sensors. To obtain the desired carbon structure design, carbon micro-/nanoelectromechanical system (C-MEMS/C-NEMS) technology was developed. The most common C-MEMS/C-NEMS fabrication process consists of two steps: (i) the patterning of a carbon-rich base material, such as a photosensitive polymer, using photolithography; and (ii) carbonization through the pyrolysis of the patterned polymer in an oxygen-free environment. The C-MEMS/NEMS process has been widely used to develop microelectronic devices for various applications, including in micro-batteries, supercapacitors, glucose sensors, gas sensors, fuel cells, and triboelectric nanogenerators. Here, recent developments of a high-aspect ratio solid and hollow carbon microstructures with SU8 photoresists are discussed. The structural shrinkage during pyrolysis was investigated using confocal microscopy and SEM. Raman spectroscopy was used to confirm the crystallinity of the structure, and the atomic percentage of the elements present in the material before and after pyrolysis was measured using EDX.