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Nanotechnology. 2008 Oct 29;19(43):435502. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/43/435502. Epub 2008 Sep 22.

Integration of a carbon nanotube based electrode in silicon microtechnology to fabricate electrochemical transducers.

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  • 1Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel, IMN, Université de Nantes, CNRS, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 32229, 44322 Nantes cedex 3, France. CEISAM, Université de Nantes, CNRS, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 32229, 44322 Nantes cedex 3, France.


An original approach was developed and validated for the fabrication of a carbon nanotube (CNT) electrode synthesized directly onto a carbon buffer thin film deposited on a highly doped monocrystalline silicon surface. The buffer layer of amorphous carbon thin film was deposited by physical vapour deposition on the silicon substrate before CNT synthesis. For this purpose, nickel was deposited on the carbon buffer layer by an electrochemical procedure and used as a catalyst for the CNT growth. The CNT synthesis was achieved by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) in an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma chamber using a C(2)H(2)/NH(3) gas mixture. In order to evaluate the electrochemical behaviour of the CNT-based electrode, the carbon layer and the silicon/carbon interface were studied. The resulting buffer layer enhanced the electronic transport from the doped silicon to the CNTs. The electrode surface was studied by XPS and characterized by both SEM and TEM. The electrochemical response exhibited by the resulting electrodes modified with CNTs was also examined by cyclic voltammetry. The whole process was found to be compatible with silicon microtechnology and could be envisaged for the direct integration of microsensors on silicon chips.

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