Journal article

Chip cleaning and regeneration for electrochemical sensor arrays

Sensing systems based on electrochemical detection have generated great interest because electronic readout may replace conventional optical readout in microarray. Moreover, they offer the possibility to avoid labelling for target molecules. A typical electrochemical array consists of many sensing sites. An ideal microfabricated sensor-chip should have the same measured values for all the equivalent sensing sites (or spots). To achieve high reliability in electrochemical measurements, high quality in functionalization of the electrodes surface is essential. Molecular probes are often immobilized by using alkanethiols onto gold electrodes. Applying effective cleaning methods on the chip is a fundamental requirement for the formation of densely-packed and stable self-assembly monolayers. However, the available well-known techniques for chip cleaning may not be so reliable. Furthermore, it could be necessary to recycle the chip for reuse. Also in this case, an effective recycling technique is required to re-obtain well cleaned sensing surfaces on the chip. This paper presents experimental results on the efficacy and efficiency of the available techniques for initial cleaning and further recycling of micro-fabricated chips. Piranha, plasma, reductive and oxidative cleaning methods were applied and the obtained results were critically compared. Some interesting results were attained by using commonly considered cleaning methodologies. This study outlines oxidative electrochemical cleaning and recycling as the more efficient cleaning procedure for electrochemical based sensor arrays. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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