Correlation of Impedance and Effective Electrode Area of Iridium Oxide Neural Electrodes
Iridium oxide is routinely used for bionic applications owing to its high charge injection capacity. The electrode impedance at 1 kHz is typically reported to predict neural recording performance. In this article, the impedance of activated iridium oxide films (AIROFs) has been examined. The impedance of unactivated iridium electrodes was half that of platinum electrodes of similar geometry, indicating some iridium oxide was present on the electrode surface. A two time constant equivalent circuit was used to model the impedance of activated iridium. The impedance at low and intermediate frequencies decreased with increasing number of activation pulses and total activation charge. The impedance at 12 Hz correlated with the steady-state diffusion electroactive area. The impedance at 12 Hz also correlated with the charge density of the electrode. The high charge density and low impedance of AIROFs may provide improved neural stimulation and recording properties compared with typically used platinum electrodes.