Carbon Fiber Electrodes

Carbon Fiber Electrodes

Carbon fiber microelectrodes have been used in both the detection of ox­i­diz­able compounds (Gonon, et al., 1978; Cahill and Wightman, 1995) and extracellular single-unit re­cord­ing (Armstrong-James and Millar, 1979). WPI’s ultra-sensitive and low-noise carbon fiber (CF) electrodes can be ap­plied, with our Micro-C Poten­tio­stat or similar in­stru­ments, in the electrochemical detection of cat­e­chola­mines (epi­neph­rine, norepinephrine and dopamine), indolamines (serotonin, 5-HT or melatonin), ascorbic acid, Fe (II), and other ox­i­diz­able compounds.

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Electrochemical detection of oxidizable compounds

diagram of carbon fiber electrodes


  • Sensitive, renewable/durable and economical carbon fiber electrodes for electrochem­i­cal de­tection of oxidizable compounds
  • Excellent linearity to the oxidizable compounds


  • Precision tip size and length of the CF electrodes
  • Renewable


  • Detection of neurotransmitters and oxidizable compounds in vivo or in vitro

CF electrodes (diameter of 10 or 30 µm) respond with an ex­cel­lent linear­i­ty to the oxidizable compounds (see figure below) and can detect the compounds as low as 0.2 nM. While the shorter (25-100 µm) CF elec­trodes are suitable for in vivo amperometric and voltammetric measurements, the long­er CF electrodes provide higher sen­si­tiv­i­ty and are especially useful for the in vitro studies (amperometric or differential pulse voltammetry). When used with the Micro-C Potentiostat, these CF electrodes can be ac­ti­vat­ed and re­newed in sensitivity for multiple use. The se­lec­tive detection of cat­e­chola­mines can be achieved with our Nafion-coated CF electrodes. For se­lec­tive detection of 5-HT and ascorbic acid, please contact WPI for more in­for­ma­tion.

carbon fiber response curve

Excellent linearity in the response of carbon fiber electrode (CF30-500) to dopamine recorded on Micro-C. Courtesy: Drs. D. Yeomans and X.-T. Wang, Uni­ver­si­ty of Illinois at Chicago. 

carbon fiber electrode recording

Extracellular recording using a carbon electrode in CA1 region of the hippocampus in an anesthetized rat shows ultra-low noise (<5 µV). Cour­te­sy: Dr. Carolyn Harley of Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada.

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