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One of the main issues with micron-sized intracortical neural interfaces (INIs) is their long-term reliability, with one major factor stemming from the material failure caused by the heterogeneous integration of multiple materials used to realize the implant. Single crystalline cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) is a semiconductor material that has been long recognized for its mechanical robustness and chemical inertness. It has the benefit of demonstrated biocompatibility, which makes it a promising candidate for chronically-stable, implantable INIs. Here, we report on the fabrication and initial electrochemical characterization of a nearly monolithic, Michigan-style 3C-SiC microelectrode array (MEA) probe. The probe consists of a single 5 mm-long shank with 16 electrode sites. An~ 8 µm-thick p-type 3C-SiC epilayer was grown on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer, which was followed by a~ 2 µm-thick epilayer of heavily n-type (n+) 3C-SiC in order to form conductive traces and the electrode sites. Diodes formed between the p and n+ layers provided substrate isolation between the channels. A thin layer of amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) was deposited via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) to insulate the surface of the probe from the external environment. Forming the probes on a SOI wafer supported the ease of probe removal from the handle wafer by simple immersion in HF, thus aiding in the manufacturability of the probes. Free-standing probes and planar single-ended test microelectrodes were fabricated from the same 3C-SiC epiwafers. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were performed …
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication date: 
1 Jul 2019

Mohammad Beygi, John T Bentley, Christopher L Frewin, Cary A Kuliasha, Arash Takshi, Evans K Bernardin, Francesco La Via, Stephen E Saddow

Biblio References: 
Volume: 10 Issue: 7 Pages: 430