Developing barbed microtip-based electrode arrays for biopotential measurement

Sensors (Basel). 2014 Jul 10;14(7):12370-86. doi: 10.3390/s140712370.


This study involved fabricating barbed microtip-based electrode arrays by using silicon wet etching. KOH anisotropic wet etching was employed to form a standard pyramidal microtip array and HF/HNO3 isotropic etching was used to fabricate barbs on these microtips. To improve the electrical conductance between the tip array on the front side of the wafer and the electrical contact on the back side, a through-silicon via was created during the wet etching process. The experimental results show that the forces required to detach the barbed microtip arrays from human skin, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer, and a polyvinylchloride (PVC) film were larger compared with those required to detach microtip arrays that lacked barbs. The impedances of the skin-electrode interface were measured and the performance levels of the proposed dry electrode were characterized. Electrode prototypes that employed the proposed tip arrays were implemented. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG) recordings using these electrode prototypes were also demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electric Impedance
  • Electrocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes*
  • Electroencephalography / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Silicon / chemistry
  • Skin / chemistry


  • Silicon