Inkjet Printing-Manufactured Boron-Doped Diamond Chip Electrodes for Electrochemical Sensing Purposes

Zhichao Liu, Simona Baluchová, Bob Brocken, Essraa Ahmed, Paulius Pobedinskas, Ken Haenen, Josephus G. Buijnsters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Fabrication of patterned boron-doped diamond (BDD) in an inexpensive and straightforward way is required for a variety of practical applications, including the development of BDD-based electrochemical sensors. This work describes a simplified and novel bottom-up fabrication approach for BDD-based three-electrode sensor chips utilizing direct inkjet printing of diamond nanoparticles on silicon-based substrates. The whole seeding process, accomplished by a commercial research inkjet printer with piezo-driven drop-on-demand printheads, was systematically examined. Optimized and continuous inkjet-printed features were obtained with glycerol-based diamond ink (0.4% vol/wt), silicon substrates pretreated by exposure to oxygen plasma and subsequently to air, and applying a dot density of 750 drops (volume 9 pL) per inch. Next, the dried micropatterned substrate was subjected to a chemical vapor deposition step to grow uniform thin-film BDD, which satisfied the function of both working and counter electrodes. Silver was inkjet-printed to complete the sensor chip with a reference electrode. Scanning electron micrographs showed a closed BDD layer with a typical polycrystalline structure and sharp and well-defined edges. Very good homogeneity in diamond layer composition and a high boron content (∼2 × 1021 atoms cm-3) was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. Important electrochemical characteristics, including the width of the potential window (2.5 V) and double-layer capacitance (27 μF cm-2), were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry. Fast electron transfer kinetics was recognized for the [Ru(NH3)6]3+/2+ redox marker due to the high doping level, while somewhat hindered kinetics was observed for the surface-sensitive [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- probe. Furthermore, the ability to electrochemically detect organic compounds of different structural motifs, such as glucose, ascorbic acid, uric acid, tyrosine, and dopamine, was successfully verified and compared with commercially available screen-printed BDD electrodes. The newly developed chip-based manufacture method enables the rapid prototyping of different small-scale electrode designs and BDD microstructures, which can lead to enhanced sensor performance with capability of repeated use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39915-39925
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • boron-doped diamond
  • cyclic voltammetry
  • electrochemical sensor chip
  • inkjet printing
  • miniaturized electrodes
  • selective-area seeding


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