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Electrochemical Multi-core Microelectrodes

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Medical Products Neuroscience Products

Electrochemical Multi-core Microelectrodes

Thomas RECORDING electrochemical disc micro-electrodes were originally designed for SECM (Scanning ElectroChemical Microscopy), but they are also suitable as working electrodes for other electrochemical applications like voltammetry or amperometry.

As reported by Ufheil et al. (see downloads & publications [1]) a new tip tool for the SECM is described that should allow a wide range of kinetic measurements. It was shown by the authors that the shielding factor as well as the collection efficiency can be changed over a wide range by approaching suitable surfaces and varying the distance to the tip. Furthermore, the heptode opens a wide range of applications because it includes seven sensing elements that can be used separately. This allows local in situ modification and analysis with the SECM when working with modified heptodes.

The electrodes are based on unique multicore metal fiber of platinum/tungsten alloy, insulated with quartz glass.

Key features:

  • Unique manufacturing technique
  • highly centered metal core
  • 4- and 7channel electrode available
  • very good signal to noise ratio
  • Quartz glass insulation
  • different tip shapes available with tip diameters in µm
Technical Data
Core conductor material:platinum (95%), tungsten (5%)
Insulation material: quartz glass
Number of available channels: 4-channel or 7-channel electochemical electrode.
Tip shape:(B) pulled & ground, disc type (only available for 4 channel electrochemical electrode)
(C) only ground, disc type (most common)
Connectors: gold plated male pin, 0.8mm

Matching female connector available from

Figure 4: Dimensions of Thomas electrochemical multicore microelectrodes


L1: Standard is 80mm, custom adaption possible
L2: Standard is 5mm, custom adaption possible
L3: Standard is 40mm, custom adaption possible
d1: 2.0mm

See Figure 7 for the dimensions of the electochemical multicore electrode.

Custom electochemical electrodes are available on request.


A special manufacturing process guarantees a highly centered metal core within the glass insulation and a high reproducibility of the tip geometry. Thomas multicore fibers are produced in a circular alignment, with one central metal core and three or six surrounding electrode wires.

Thomas multicore-microelectrodes may serve as quasi ring-disk-electrodes with the central core as disk and the surrounding six cores hot-wired as ring electrode (see figure 3).

These electrodes combine the stationary diffusion field of an ultramicroelectrode with the concentric arrangement of a ring-disk electrode, serving as micro-analogon to the rotating ring-disk electrode. With these unique electrodes it is possible to run a SECM in generation/collection mode without the need of a conducting sample, and without an influence of scan direction. Another possible application is kinetic research in small volumes, which is appreciable for analysis of expensive or rare substances like natural products or noble metal compounds.  

The use of Thomas seven-core electrodes as micro ring-disk electrodes for SECM was first introduced by Heinze et. al. in 2002[1], followed by a comparison of experimental data with theoretical simulations by BEM-Method[2]. They were also successfully applied as functionalized SECM-Sensors for active site mapping on nafion-membranes for fuel cells[3]. 

For more information please be referred to the product brochure below. If you have further question or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Figure 1: Tip of a Thomas 7 channel microelectrode for electrochemical appliactions (tip shape D, other tip shapes are available , see figure 2 and pdf product brochure below). The 7 metal wires (alloy of 95% platinum and 5% tungsten) are insulated from each other by quartz glass.

Figure 2: For the 7 channel microelectrode the tip shapes C and D are available, for the 4 channel version of the microelectrode tip shapes A-D are available

Figure 3: Cross section of a 7 channel microelectrode for electrochemical applications.


[3] Baltes, N., Heinze, J. Imaging Local Proton Fluxes through a Polycarbonate Membrane by Using Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy and Functional Alkanethiols. ChemPhysChem, 2009, 10, 174-179, DOI: 10.1002/cphcc.200800598

[2] Sklyar, O., Ufheil, J., Heinze, J., Wittstock, G. Application of the boundary element method numerical simulations for characterization of heptode ultramicroelectrodes in SECM experiments. Electrochimica Acta, 2003, 49, 117-128, DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2003.04.007

[1] Ufheil, J., Borgwarth, K., Heinze, J. Introduction to the Principles of Ultamicroheptodes in Ring-Disk Interactions. Analytical Chemistry, 2002, 74, 1316-1321, DOI: 10.1021/ac010912z

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