A technique has been developed for fabricating three dimensional ”hair brush” electrode arrays from monocrystalline silicon blocks. Arrays consist of a square pattern of 100 penetrating electrodes, with 400 microns interelectrode spacing. Each electrode is 1.5mm in length and tapers from about 100 microns at its base to a sharp point at the tip. The tips of each electrode are coated with platinum and the entire structure, with the exception of the tips, is insulated with polyimide. Electrical connection to selected electrodes is made by wire bonding polyimide insulated 25 microns diameter gold lead wires to bonding pads on the rear surface of the array. As the geometrical characteristics of the electrodes in such an aray will influence their electrical properties (such as impedance, capacitance, spreading resistance in an electrolyte, etc.) it is desirable that such an array have minimal variability in geometry from electrode to electrode. A study was performed to determine the geometrical variability resulting from our micromachining techniques. Measurements of the diameter of each of the 100 electrodes were made at various planes above the silicon substrate of the array. For the array that was measured, the standard deviation of the diameters was approximately 9% of the mean diameter near the tip, 8% near the middle, and 6% near the base. We describe fabrication techniques which should further reduce these variabilities.
The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society