This is an inconclusive post, but at ZP we recently took a look at two electrodes, the intention of both electrodes is for sensing.
One of the sensors in the adjacent image is a commercial glucose strip (blue), whilst the other is an R and D electrode (green) from Zimmer and Peacock.
The commercial glucose strip was made by vapour deposition and laser ablation, whilst the ZP sensor was made by thick film screen printing.
Our expectation when looking under the microscope was that the commercial glucose strip would appear much finer/precise/accurate in it's edges and surfaces relative to the ZP thick film sensor. The actual result was that the screen printed electrode and the vapour deposited electrode looked pretty similar. This doesn't rule out that the vapour deposited electrode is in fact has a smoother and more reproducible surface when manufactured in volume than the screen printed electrodes, but a quick assessment under a microscope said that the two processes gave a similar finish.
If you are considering manufacturing and gold electrodes are part of your product then we would say the following 'if you are looking for feature sizes less than 200 microns then vapour deposition is a good technique. If you have electrodes whose feature sizes are greater than 200 microns then thick film printing is probably good enough. At the 1000 micron scale then screen printing is probably/definitely good enough'.
Every project and product and application is unique, so please contact ZP to discuss your specific requirements.