Conducting polymers (CPs) have frequently been described as outstanding coating materials for neural microelectrodes, providing significantly reduced impedance or
higher charge injection compared to pure metals. Usability has until now, however, been limited by poor adhesion of polymers like poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT)
to metallic substrates, ultimately precluding long-term applications. The aim of this study was to overcome this weakness of CPs by introducing two novel adhesion improvement strategies that can easily be integrated with standard microelectrode fabrication processes. Iridium Oxide (IrOx) demonstrated exceptional stability for PEDOT coatings, resulting in polymer survival over 10 000 redox cycles and 110 days under accelerated aging conditions at 60 °C. Nanostructured Pt was furthermore introduced as a purely mechanical adhesion promoter providing 10-fold adhesion improvement compared to smooth Pt substrates by simply altering the morphology of Pt. This layer can be realized in a very simple process that is compatible with any electrode design, turning nanostructured Pt into a universal adhesion layer for CP coatings. ... mehrBy the introduction of these adhesion-promoting strategies, the weakness of CP-based neural probes can ultimately be eliminated and true long-term stable use of PEDOT on neural probes will be possible in future electrode generations.