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The influence of both nanotube orientation and length on the electrochemical properties of electrodes modified with single-walled carbon nanotubes was investigated. Gold electrodes were modified with either randomly dispersed or vertically aligned nanotubes to which ferrocenemethylamine was attached. Electron transfer kinetics were found to depend strongly on the orientation of the nanotube, with electron transfer between the gold electrode and the ferrocene moiety being 40 times slower through randomly dispersed nanotubes than through vertically aligned nanotubes. The difference is hypothesized to be due to electron transfer being more direct through a single tube than that with electrodes modified with randomly dispersed nanotubes. With the vertically aligned nanotubes the rate constant for electron transfer varied inversely with the mean length of the nanotubes. The results indicate there is an advantage in using aligned carbon nanotube arrays over randomly dispersed nanotubes for achieving efficient electron transfer to bound redox active species such as in the case of bioelectronic or photovoltaic devices. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.