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We report on the use of either reactive magnetron sputtering or screen printing to deposit tin and tungsten-oxide gas-sensitive layers onto integrated micromachined arrays. The procedures allow the deposition of the sensing layers before membranes have been etched, which leads to gas microsensors with an excellent fabrication yield. The microstructure of the sensitive films is analyzed by means of SEM and EDX. The response of the different microarrays to ethanol, acetone, and ammonia vapors and their binary mixtures, and toxic gases such as NO2 and CO, is studied at different operating temperatures. The response of the different sensors to ambient humidity is also investigated. Finally, it is shown that by using PCA and fuzzy ARTMAP neural networks, it is possible to simultaneously identify and quantify the toxic gases with a 100% success rate. A 95% success rate is obtained in the semi-quantitative analysis of vapors and vapor mixtures. These results prove the viability and usefulness of the techniques introduced to obtain integrated sensor microarrays that are suitable for battery-powered gas/vapor monitors.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005