Transparent Nanowire Electrodes As a Tool for Electrochemical Detection

Tuesday, 26 May 2015: 12:20
Marquette (Hilton Chicago)
F. Lefèvre, S. Poorahong, M. C. Perron, P. Juneau, and R. Izquierdo (Université du Québec à Montréal)
The development of new nanomaterial like carbon nanotubes, graphene and nanowires brings new possibilities to existing technologies. With the emergence of transparent electrode based on these materials, we could imagine new type of sensors, which combines transparency and flexibility. Silver nanowire transparent electrodes are currently transforming this industry. Touch screen sensors, OLED and solar panel can now be fabricated on flexible plastic sheets with low cost printing techniques. In the same way, this new type of electrode could bring electrochemical sensor toward new transparent and flexible sensing application for life science.

In our study, we fabricate and characterize transparent electrode based in metal nanowires for electrochemical detection. By changing the length, diameter and amount of deposited nanowires, we can vary their transparency (up to 90% transparent), sheet resistance (up to 0.1 ohm/square) and effective surface area. Compared to conventional evaporated plain electrodes, printed nanowire electrodes can achieve more than 80% transparency (in visible range) with the same electrochemical effective surface area. Using these electrodes, we can fabricate new sensors with high transparency (> 90%), flexibility and high sensitivity to oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The detection of these two components is predominant in healthcare and environmental monitoring.

The combination of those properties could allow us to use this type of sensors as opto-electrochemical sensors for monitoring living cells and also for glucose detection on humans. Transparent nanowire electrodes can also be a real alternative to existing indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent electrodes for other applications.

Figure 1.Pictures of electrochemical sensors based on metal nanowires on PET transparent substrate. WE and REF electrodes are made from metal nanowire have 80% transparency, CE electrode are made from gold.

Figure 2. SEM image of silver nanowire electrode and the size distribution of nanowires. 

Figure 3.  Voltammetry response of the nanowire based electrochemical sensor to hydrogen peroxide in phosphate buffer (pH=7)

Figure 4. Dose-response curve to hydrogen peroxide using the nanowire-based sensor in phosphate buffer (pH=7)