PEDOT:Nafion Surface Modification of Carbon Fibers and Solid Electrodes

Technology #ua15-087

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Michael Heien
Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Richard Vreeland
Graduate Assistant, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Nicholas Laude
Graduate Assistant, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Christopher Atcherley
Graduate Assistant, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Managed By
Laura Silva


A composite polymer containing both PEDOT and Nafion® (PEDOT:Nafion®) has been electropolymerized as a uniform coating onto carbon fiber microelectrodes.  The goal is to create a mechanically stable, robust, and controllable film.



Carbon fibers composites are often created with epoxide matrixes.  These composites combine high strength with a low density, which has led to their increasing use in high-performance construction materials (e.g. aerospace, automobile and high-end sports equipment). To improve the fiber-matrix adhesion, surface modifications are used (sizing) to improve the possibility for covalent linking between the fiber material and the surrounding matrix to achieve good stress transfer from the matrix material to the filling fiber. 


Both poly(3 4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and Nafion® have a well-established history in being coated onto biosensors and carbon fiber electrodes to improve sensor function or biocompatibility. Nafion® is a fluoropolymer, which like polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), has a tendency not to adhere well to carbon-fiber surfaces and forms non-uniform layers. The ability to have a uniform layer of Nafion® deposited onto a carbon fiber electrode would assist in the further usefulness of Nafion® coatings.



  • The coating here produce a more uniform and smooth deposition of PEDOT:Nafion® on carbon fiber electrodes than previous research has demonstrated is possible.
  • PEDOT:Nafion® coated carbon electrodes have higher selectivity and sensitivity of certain electrochemical measurements in vivo.
  • The PEDOT:Nafion® coating developed here is a novel way to coat carbon fibers for adhesion of epoxies to the carbon-fiber surface. 



  • This invention provides an effective way to coat carbon fibers with the composite polymer.
  • Nafion® and PEDOT coatings are often used in biosensors for implantable devices.
  • Aerospace, automobile and sporting equipment industries use coated carbon fiber for its high strength and low density properties.


UA Technology ID: UA15-087


Inventors: Michael Heien, Richard Vreeland, Nicholas Laude, Christopher Atcherley


Licensing Manager:

Laura Silva

(520) 626-1557