Carbon based hybrid nanomaterials for electrochemical detection of neurotransmitters

Sami Sainio

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Applying carbon-based sensors to detect neurotransmitters in vitro and to take them towards in vivo is a goal of many research groups. The motivation arises from the increased occurrence of neurological disorders, diseases and age-related illnesses. Thus far, carbon-based materials used as sensors lack the sensitivity and selectivity for neurotransmitter detection, in addition to fouling and stability issues. This thesis presents several methods for tailoring and forming new carbon-based hybrid nanomaterials for the reliable detection of neurotransmitters. The hypothesis of this thesis is that by controllably integrating different carbon allotropes, it is possible to produce hybrid materials with unique properties. The objectives of this thesis are to (i) introduce new carbon-based hybrid materials and their unique properties, (ii) provide a detailed chemical and structural description of the materials and (iii) show the potential of detecting dopamine by using hybrid carbon-based materials in physiologically relevant concentrations for in vivo applications. By using hybrid structures, such as tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) and nickel as a seed layer for carbon nanofiber (CNF) growth, it is possible to produce a CNF with completely different morphology and properties, compared with a CNF grown on a traditional nickel seed layer. Tailoring of materials at the nanoscale enables the creation of 3D hybrid structures for targeted applications. Furthermore, this work has considered rarity of critical materials, such as platinum, and kept their use to a minimum.
Translated title of the contributionHiilipohjaiset hybridi nanomateriaalit hermovälittäjäaineiden sähkökemialliseen mittaamiseen
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Laurila, Tomi, Supervising Professor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-7390-3
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7389-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • hybrid carbon nanomaterials
  • carbon nanomaterials
  • neurotransmitters
  • electrochemistry
  • x-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • XAS
  • carbon nanotube
  • CNT
  • carbon nanofiber
  • CNF
  • tetrahedral amorphous carbon
  • ta-C

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