Electrochemical deposition of Zn on TiN microelectrode arrays for microanodes

E. E. Ferapontova, J. G. Terry, A. J. Walton, C. P. Mountford, J. Crain, A. H. Buck, P. Dickinson, Colin Campbell, J. S. Beattie, P. Ghazal, A. R. Mount

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Zn was electrochemically deposited onto square TiN electrodes with edge dimensions of 490 put and 40 mu m. These were fabricated by standard microfabrication techniques, which provide an extremely reproducible electrode for experimentation. Reliable constant-potential electrodeposition of Zn on the TiN was performed at -1.2 V, just below the Zn/Zn2+ redox potential. At more negative potentials, the hydrogen evolution reaction on TiN interfered with bulk metal electrodeposition, resulting in poor quality Zn films. A two-step plating procedure was shown to be most efficient for electrochemical deposition of Zn, with Zn nucleation on the TiN substrate at high cathodic overpotential during the first step and a second step of bulk metal growth on the nucleated layer at low cathodic overpotential. These results were most consistent with 3D progressive nucleation of Zn on the TiN surface. Using this procedure, deposits of Zn on 490 mu m TiN electrodes were uniform. In contrast, Zn deposits on 40 mu m electrodes formed high-surface area and volume surface structures resulting from preferential growth at the electrode corners due to enhanced hemispherical diffusion at these sites. This should enable the formation of high surface area, high current density Zn anodes on biocompatible TiN microelectrodes, which could find application as improved microanodes for implantable miniature power supplies, e.g., implantable glucose sensors and internal cardioverter defibrillators. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalElectrochemistry communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • titanium nitride
  • zinc
  • microelectrode arrays
  • electrochemical deposition
  • microanodes


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