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Use of different sensing materials and deposition techniques for thin-film sensors to increase sensitivity and selectivity

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5 Author(s)
Nicoletti, S. ; CNR-IMM Sezione di Bologna Inst., Italy ; Zampolli, S. ; Elmi, I. ; Dori, Leonello
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The performances of metal oxide semiconducting materials used as gas-sensing detectors depend strongly on their structural and morphological properties. The average grain size has been proved to play a prominent role and better sensor performances were found in polycrystalline films where the grain size is few tens of nm or smaller. On the other hand, thermal treatments during thin-film deposition and/or sample postprocessing could lead to a grain coalescence, thus decreasing the conductivity of the sensing film. Avoiding such a phenomenon, still keeping optimized processing conditions, will increase the sensor performances, maintaining the resistivity at acceptable values. In this work, new gas-sensing materials and new thin-film deposition procedures have been investigated. Aiming to preserve the sensitivity, to enhance selectivity and to reduce the drift, thin films of WO3 and CrTiO3 deposited by pulsed-laser ablation (PLA) and of SnO2 deposited by rheotaxial growth and thermal oxidation techniques were comparatively characterized. Three issues were mainly addressed: the variation of the conductivity as a function of RH, the sensitivity toward benzene, CO, acetone, and NO2, and the selectivity.

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2003

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