Electrochemical Performance of Biocompatible TiC Films Deposited through Nonreactive RF Magnetron Sputtering for Neural Interfacing

Abstract

The efficacy of neural electrode stimulation and recording hinges significantly on the choice of a neural electrode interface material. Transition metal carbides (TMCs), particularly titanium carbide (TiC), have demonstrated exceptional chemical stability and high electrical conductivity. Yet, the fabrication of TiC thin films and their potential application as neural electrode interfaces remains relatively unexplored. Herein, we present a systematic examination of TiC thin films synthesized through nonreactive radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. TiC films were optimized toward high areal capacitance, low impedance, and stable electrochemical cyclability. We varied the RF power and deposition pressure to pinpoint the optimal properties, focusing on the deposition rate, surface roughness, crystallinity, and elemental composition to achieve high areal capacitance and low impedance. The best-performing TiC film showed an areal capacitance of 475 μF/cm2 with a capacitance retention of 93% after 5000 cycles. In addition, the electrochemical performance of the optimum film under varying scanning rates demonstrated a stable electrochemical performance even under dynamic and fast-changing stimulation conditions. Furthermore, the in vitro cell culture for 3 weeks revealed excellent biocompatibility, promoting cell growth compared with a control substrate. This work presents a novel contribution, highlighting the potential of sputtered TiC thin films as robust neural electrode interface materials.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Citation

Sait, R., Al-Jawhari, H., Ganash, A., Wustoni, S., Chen, L., Hedhili, M.N., Wehbe, N., Hussein, D., Alhowity, A., Baeesa, S., Bangash, M., Abuzenadah, A., Inal, S. and Cross, R. (2023) Electrochemical Performance of Biocompatible TiC Films Deposited through Nonreactive RF Magnetron Sputtering for Neural Interfacing. ACS Biomaterials Science Engineering,

Rights

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/

Research Institute

Institute of Engineering Sciences (IES)