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An innovative approach to gas sensing using carbon nanotubes thin films: sensitivity, selectivity and stability response analysis

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6 Author(s)
C. Cantalini ; Dept. of Chem. & Mater., Universita dell'Aquila, Monteluco di Roio, Italy ; L. Valentini ; I. Armentano ; J. M. Kenny
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We report that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) thin films have been successfully prepared as new NO2 and H2 gas sensors in the NO2 concentration range 7 ppb - 7 ppm and H2 8.5ppm - 850 ppm respectively. 150 nm thick CNTs thin films, have been prepared by rf-PECVD on Si/Si3N4 substrates, provided with Pt interdigital sputtered electrodes, and post-annealed under controlled conditions. The electrical response has been investigated at different operating temperatures and gases over a period of 6 months. Sensitivity response analysis has demonstrated that CNTs are more responsive to NO2 than H2. By selecting suitable annealing conditions, the microstructure significantly changes enabling: to adjust the base line resistance of the film (i.e. the resistance in dry air) from 100 Ohms to several mega-Ohms, and to improve gas sensitivity. Selectivity test have highlighted negligible cross sensitivity effects to the detection of NO2, when H2 is the interfering gas. Long term stability test have shown a neglegible increase of the base line resistance and an improvement of the NO2 sensitivity.

Published in:

Sensors, 2003. Proceedings of IEEE  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

22-24 Oct. 2003