Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor

Guiseppi-Elie, Anthony

Committee Member

Noneaker, Daniel

Abstract

Recent studies into soft organic electronics have burgeoned as a result of discoveries of conducting polymers such as polyaniline, polythiophene, and polypyrrole. However, in order to make these conducting polymers suitable for in vivo soft organic electronics, they must be developed so that they can be biocompatible and provide accurate sensing. Chitosan, a naturally occurring polymer structure found in exoskeletons of crustaceans, has been studied for its biocompatible properties. Composites of polyaniline (PAn), an intrinsically conductive polymer (ICP) and chitosan (Chi), a biopolymer, were developed and applied to gold and platinum Thin Film Electrode (TFE) devices. Electropolymerization and drop cast deposition were utilized to modify TFEs with a thin film of PAn or PAn-Chi composite. The impedance response over a spectrum of frequencies was studied for blank control TFEs, platinized TFEs, and platinized TFEs with various polyaniline coatings. Impedance measurements were taken in dry environments, DI Water, and in buffers such as PBS, and HEPES. Current-Voltage (I-V) characterization was used to study the current response and SEM imaging was used to study the surface topography. Resistance was measured for PAn modified unplatinized gold TFEs with varying amounts of incorporated chitosan. Impedance measurements of control and platinized TFEs yielded results similar to a low pass filter. Due to the conductive nature of polyaniline, the impedance of TFEs decreased substantially after poylaniline deposition. Measured resistance values for polyaniline and chitosan composites on TFEs revealed a window of concentrations of incorporated chitosan to lower resistance.

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