Development of a microelectrode array sensing platform for combination electrochemical and spectrochemical aqueous ion testing

Rob Gardner, Anhong Zhou, Nephi A. Zufelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A microelectrode array sensor platform was designed and fabricated to increase diversity, flexibility, and versatility of testing capabilities over that of traditionally reported sensor platforms. These new sensor platforms consist of 18 individual addressable microelectrodes, photolithography fabricated, that employ a glass base substrate and a resist polymer layer that acts as an insulating agent to protect the circuitry and wiring of the sensor from undesired solution interactions. Individually addressable microelectrodes increase diversity by allowing isolated electrochemical testing between electrodes, global array testing, or some combination of electrodes to perform electrochemical methods. Furthermore, because of the optical transparency of the glass base substrate and the resist mask layer, along with the small size of the electrode array, spectrochemical analysis is possible within the sample area that acts as electrochemical cell and cuvette, while the microelectrode array passively resides within the optical path length during spectrochemical testing. This unique arrangement offers improved testing possibilities for various applications, including simultaneous electrochemical and spectrochemical analysis in environmental testing, identification or quantification of possible species for bioavailability in the biotechnology field, and process control in industrial applications. Electrochemical characteristics and spectrochemcial use of the sensor platform are proven with potassium ferricyanide, an electrochemical standard analyte, and electrochemical measurements are compared against a commercially available working electrode of similar size. Additionally, the electrochemical method of differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry is performed with the sensor platform to detect copper and lead heavy metal ions in aqueous solution, demonstrating the potential for use with environmental samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate the financial support from the Utah Water Research Laboratory, Logan, UT, and from USU New Faculty Start-up funds (A.Z.). We are also thankful to the Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) program supported by USU Vice President for Research Office (R.G. and N.Z.). R.G. is also partially supported by NIH (#ES013688-01A1) (A.Z.) and USU College of Engineering Dean's Teaching Funds. Special thanks are reserved for Dr. Brian Baker from the MicroFab Lab at the University of Utah for help with sensor fabrication procedures.


  • Electrochemical cell
  • Microelectrode array
  • Photolithography
  • Potassium ferricyanide
  • Spectrochemical analysis


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