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Ultrathin Optically Transparent Carbon Electrodes Produced from Layers of Adsorbed Proteins

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journal contribution
posted on 12.03.2013, 00:00 by Sarah A. Alharthi, Tomás E. Benavidez, Carlos D. Garcia
This work describes a simple, versatile, and inexpensive procedure to prepare optically transparent carbon electrodes, using proteins as precursors. Upon adsorption, the protein-coated substrates were pyrolyzed under reductive conditions (5% H2) to form ultrathin, conductive electrodes. Because proteins spontaneously adsorb to interfaces forming uniform layers, the proposed method does not require a precise control of the preparation conditions, specialized instrumentation, or expensive precursors. The resulting electrodes were characterized by a combination of electrochemical, optical, and spectroscopic means. As a proof-of-concept, the optically transparent electrodes were also used as substrate for the development of an electrochemical glucose biosensor. The proposed films represent a convenient alternative to more sophisticated, and less available, carbon-based nanomaterials. Furthermore, these films could be formed on a variety of substrates, without classical limitations of size or shape.