In this study, we demonstrate the fabrication of polymer microneedle electrodes covered with a nanoporous parylene film that can serve as flexible electrodes for a brain-machine interface. In brain wave measurement, the electric impedance of electrodes should be below 10 k Ω at 15 Hz, and the conductive layer needs to be protected to survive its insertion into the stratum corneum. Polymer microneedles can be used as substrates for flexible electrodes, which can compensate for the movement of the skin; however, the adhesion between a conductive metal film, such as a silver film, and a polymer, such as poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), is weak. Therefore, we coated the electrode surface with a nanoporous parylene film, following the vapor deposition of a silver film. When the porosity of the parylene film is appropriate, it protects the silver film while allowing the electrode to have sufficient conductivity. The porosity can be controlled by adjusting the amount of the parylene dimer used for the deposition or the parylene film thickness. We experimentally verified that a conductive membrane was successfully protected while maintaining a conductivity below 10 k Ω when the thickness of the parylene film was between 25 and 38 nm.
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