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Keywords:

  • microstructures;
  • electrodes;
  • nanostructures;
  • thin films;
  • electrochemistry

Abstract

Fabrication of hierarchical materials, with highly optimized features from the millimeter to the nanometer scale, is crucial for applications in diverse areas including biosensing, energy storage, photovoltaics, and tissue engineering. In the past, complex material architectures have been achieved using a combination of top-down and bottom-up fabrication approaches. A remaining challenge, however, is the rapid, inexpensive, and simple fabrication of such materials systems using bench-top prototyping methods. To address this challenge, the properties of hierarchically structured electrodes are developed and investigated by combining three bench-top techniques: top-down electrode patterning using vinyl masks created by a computer-aided design (CAD)-driven cutter, thin film micro/nanostructuring using a shrinkable polymer substrate, and tunable electrodeposition of conductive materials. By combining these methods, controllable electrode arrays are created with features in three distinct length scales: 40 μm to 1 mm, 50 nm to 10 μm, and 20 nm to 2 μm. The electrical and electrochemical properties of these electrodes are analyzed and it is demonstrated that they are excellent candidates for next generation low-cost electrochemical and electronic devices.