Fabrication and Characterization of Solid Mercury Amalgam Electrodes for Protein Analysis
Gold and carbon electrodes have been largely used as transducers in protein and DNA sensors and arrays. Liquid mercury electrodes, with potential windows allowing detection of DNA and protein reduction processes at highly negative potentials, were considered as useless in such arrays. Here, we show that solid amalgam electrode (SAE) arrays can be prepared as a substitution of liquid mercury in the analysis of the above biomacromolecules. Vacuum metal sputtering on a glass substrate, photolithography, and galvanic mercury amalgam formation were used for fabrication of an inexpensive disposable electrode array. The resulting ultrathin (less than 1 mu m) amalgam microelectrodes were characterized with respect to influence of the electrode composition and size on the reproducibility and stability of electrochemical signals. Further characterization was performed using electron microscopy and the well-established ruthenium electrochemistry. Final, optimized, design was applied in protein analysis employing the recently described electrocatalytic chronopotentiometric peak H.