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Microsystems Technology

Microsystems technology, as defined by our group, is a truly multidisciplinary research area. It is based on physical and analytical chemistry, biology, microelectronics, materials science and biomedical technology.


From materials chemistry to neuroscience

The experimental facilities include extensive electrochemical testing equipment, biocompatibility testing facilities including several different cell lines, different optical and electron microscopes, fluorometry and so forth. In addition, extensive utilization of facilities of Micronova and the Nanomicroscopy Center through close collaboration with several groups in Aalto provides the group access to top-class processing and analysis facilities.

Focus on Materials

The current focus of the Microsystems technology group is on understanding the physical and chemical properties of materials starting right from the atomic level (Figure 1). The research centers largely on carbon-nanomaterial-based electrochemical biosensors and on multilevel computational studies of their surface properties in various environments.

The group carries out extensive collaboration with several top Universities around the world. In the field of computational studies we have a close collaboration with University of Cambridge (UK). In the field of advanced spectroscopy methods we work with Stanford University (US). In the field of electrochemistry the main collaborators are University College London (UK), University of Alicante (Spain) and Technical University of Denmark (DK). National collaboration has been especially fruitful with the Neuroscience Center from University of Helsinki, pain clinic at the Hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), as well as across the different schools in Aalto University. 

Figure 1. Surface roughness and atomic film structure of tetrahedral amorphous carbon deposited at 60 eV, calculated as the mean absolute deviation of surface height from its average. Purple, red, orange, yellow, and blue atoms represent one-, two-, three-, four-, and fivefold coordinated C atoms, respectively [1].
Fig. 1

Figure 1. Surface roughness and atomic film structure of tetrahedral amorphous carbon deposited at 60 eV, calculated as the mean absolute deviation of surface height from its average. Purple, red, orange, yellow, and blue atoms represent one-, two-, three-, four-, and fivefold coordinated C atoms, respectively [7].

Figure 2. Differential pulse voltammogram (DPV) showing the three oxidation peaks associated with the redox reactions of oxycodone.
Fig. 2

Figure 2. Differential pulse voltammogram (DPV) showing the three oxidation peaks associated with the redox reactions of oxycodone.

Figure 2. Differential pulse voltammogram (DPV) showing the three oxidation peaks associated with the redox reactions of oxycodone.

Co-operation around the World

We do extensive international co-operation in research and in teaching with the universities and institutes around the world. Our partners include, in addition to those already mentioned above, the University of Muenster, Germany, Indian Institute of Science, Guangxi University, China, NASA (Ames Research Center) and Imperial College London, UK.

The group is lead by Professor Tomi Laurila.

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Recent publications from 2017–2019:

1. Sainio S., Wester N., Titus C.J., Liao Y., Zhang Q., Nordlund D., Sokaras D., Lee S-J, Irwin K. D., Doriese W. B., O'Neil G. C., Swetz D. S., Ullom J. N., Kauppinen E., Laurila T., and Koskinen J., “A Hybrid X-ray Spectroscopy-Based Approach to Acquire Chemical and Structural Information of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes With Superior Sensitivity”, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 123, pp 6114–6120, (2019), (IF = 4.484).

2. Palomäki T., Caro M., Wester N., Sainio S., Etula J., Johansson L-S., Han J. G., Koskinen J. and Laurila T., ” Effect of Power Density on the Electrochemical Properties of Undoped Amorphous Carbon (a-C) Thin Films”, Electroanalysis, 31, pp. 1-11, (2019) (IF = 2.851).

3. Mynttinen E., Wester N., Lilius T., Kalso E., Koskinen J. and Laurila T. “Simultaneous electrochemical detection of tramadol and O-desmethyltramadol with Nafion-coated tetrahedral amorphous carbon electrode”, Electrochimica Acta, 295, pp. 347-353, (2019). (IF = 5.116)

4.Caro M.,  Aarva, A., Deringer, V., Csányi, G., and Laurila T., "Reactivity of amorphous carbon surfaces: rationalizing the role of structural motifs on functionalization using machine learning", Chemistry of Materials, 30, pp. 7446–7455, (2018). (IF = 9.890)

5. Deringer V., Caro M., Jana R., Aarva A., Elliott S. Laurila T., Csányi G., and Pastewka L., ”Computational Surface Chemistry of Tetrahedral Amorphous Carbon by Combining Machine Learning and DFT", Chemistry of Materials, 30, pp 7438–7445, (2018). (IF = 9.890)

6 .Palomäki T., Peltola E., Sainio S., Wester N., Koskinen J. and Laurila T., “Unmodified and multi-walled carbon nanotube modified tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) films as in vivo sensor materials for sensitive and selective detection of dopamine”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 118, pp. 23-20, (2018). (IF = 8.173)

7. Chumillas S., Palomäki T., Zhang M., Laurila T., Climent V., and Feliu J., “Analysis of Catechol, 4-Methylcatechol and Dopamine electrochemical reactions on different substrate materials and pH conditions”, Electrochimica Acta, 292, pp. 309-321, (2018). (IF = 5.116).

8. Isoaho N., Peltola E. Sainio S., Koskinen J. and Laurila T., ” Pt-grown carbon nanofibers for enzymatic glutamate biosensors and assessment of their biocompatibility“, RSC Advances, 8, 35802 - 35812, (2018). (IF = 2.936)

9.Caro M., Deringer V., Koskinen J., Laurila T., and Csanyi G,” Growth mechanism and origin of high sp3 content in tetrahedral amorphous carbon”, Physical Review Letters, 120, 166101, (2018). (IF = 8.462)

10. Isoaho N., Sainio S., Wester N., Johansson L-S, Botello L., Peltola E., Climent V., Feliu J., Koskinen J. and Laurila T.,  “Pt-grown carbon nanofibers for detection of hydrogen peroxide”, RSC Advances, 8, pp. 12742-1751, (2018). (IF = 2.936)

11. Wester N., Etula J., Lilius T., Sainio S., Laurila T., and Koskinen J., ” Selective detection of morphine in the presence of paracetamol with anodically pretreated dual layer Ti/tetrahedral amorphous carbon electrodes”, Electrochemistry Communications, 86, pp. 166-170, (2018). (IF = 4.396)

12. Peltola E., Sainio S., Holt K.B., Palomäki T., Koskinen J., and Laurila T., ” Electrochemical fouling of dopamine and recovery of carbon electrodes”, Analytical Chemistry, 90, 1408-1416, (2018). (IF = 6.320)

13. Peltola E., Heikkinen J., Sovanto K., Sainio S., Aarva A., Franssila S., Jokinen V., and Laurila T., “SU-8 based pyrolytic carbon for the electrochemical detection of dopamine”, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 5, 9033-9044, (2017). (IF = 4.543)

14. Isoaho N., Wester N., Peltola E., Johansson L-S., Boronat A., Koskinen J., Feliu J., Climent V. and Laurila T.,  “Amorphous Carbon Thin Film Electrodes with Intrinsic Pt-gradient for Hydrogen Peroxide Detection”, Electrochimica Acta, 251, 60-70, (2017). (IF = 4.803)

15. Aarva A., Laurila T., and Caro M., “Doping as a means to probe the potential dependence of dopamine adsorption on carbon-based surfaces: a first-principles study”, Journal of Chemical Physics, 146, (23), 234704, (2017). (IF = 2.894)

16. Caro M., Lopez-Acevedo O., and Laurila T., “Redox potentials from ab initio molecular dynamics and explicit entropy calculations: application to transition metals in aqueous solution”, Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 13 (8), 3432–3441, (2017). (IF = 5.301).

17. Laurila T., Sainio S., Jiang H., Isoaho N., Koehne J., Etula J., Koskinen J., and Meyyappan M., ” Application specific catalyst layers: Pt containing carbon nanofibers for hydrogen peroxide detection”,  ACS Omega. 2, 496-507, (2017)

18. Wester N., Sainio S., Palomäki T., Nordlund D., Singh V.K., Johansson L-S, Koskinen J. and Laurila T., “Partially reduced graphene oxide (PRGO) modified tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta C) thin films electrodes as a platform for nanomolar detection of dopamine”, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121, (14), 8153–8164, (2017). (IF = 4.509)

19. Isoaho N., Peltola E., Sainio S., Wester N, Protopopova V, Koskinen J. and Laurila T., ” Carbon nanostructure based platform for enzymatic glutamate biosensors”, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121, (8), 4618–4626, (2017). (IF = 4.509)

20. Palomäki T., Wester N., Caro M., Sainio S., Protopopova V., Koskinen J. and Laurila T., “Electron Transport Determines the Electrochemical Properties of Tetrahedral Amorphous Carbon (ta-C) Thin Films”, Electrochimica Acta, 225, 1-10, (2017). (IF = 4.803)

21. Peltola E., Wester N., Holt K.B., Johansson L-S., Koskinen J., Myllymäki V., and Laurila T., ” Nanodiamonds on tetrahedral amorphous carbon significantly enhance dopamine detection and cell viability”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 88, 273-282, (2017). (IF = 7.746)