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The increased use of pyrolysed photoresist films (PPF) as electrode material intensifies the need to know what fabrication variables are important in the pyrolysis process. The main factor effects of seven variables (three time/temperature heating levels plus the position in the furnace tube) in the fabrication of PPF were investigated by a Plackett and Burman, eight-run, experimental design. In the three-step pyrolysis programme, gas flow had a large effect on the surface cleanliness and roughness. It was also observed that the position in the furnace affected the resistivity of the PPF. Fabrication parameters that give rapid electron transfer to redox species in solution, that provide low surface oxide and that lead to low surface roughness were identified. The guidelines on what fabrication conditions to employ to give a variety of different electrode characteristics are presented. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.