In Vitro Study of Titanium Nitride Electrodes for Neural Stimulation

In Vitro Study of Titanium Nitride Electrodes for Neural Stimulation
Pour-Aryan N, Asad M, Brendler C, Kibbel S, Heusel G, Rothermel A
33rd Annual International IEEE EMBS Conference, Boston, U.S.A., August 30 - September 3.

For neural stimulation, reliable high density charge transfer into tissue is required. One electrode material for these applications is titanium nitride (TiN). In this paper, a method for lifetime analysis of TiN electrodes is discussed. Our method significantly differs from open literature. The tests were run for much longer durations. Special attention was paid to the optical appearance and electrode voltage response to different input current pulses. According to our investigations, TiN electrodes are able to deliver at most 0.2mC/cm 2charge density for square shaped electrodes with 50μm × 50μm dimensions in safe operation, which is less compared to previous reports. The safe operation window for TiN was confirmed to be ±1V in terms of electrode potential with the counter electrode considered as reference. We found that the shape of the waveform does not affect electrode lifetime. Our measurements show that rectangular voltage waveforms inject the most amount of charge into the electrodes compared to other shapes. This makes rectangular electrode voltage signals optimal for highest charge injection at a given lifetime. In our case with square electrodes, the absolute electrode potential is found to be the more important parameter in electrode lifetime, compared to Helmholtz capacitor voltage drop.