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Adsorption porous silicon FET (APSFET) is a porous silicon (PS)-based device constituted of a FET structure with a porous adsorbing layer between drain and source. Adsorbed gas molecules in the porous layer induce an inverted channel in the crystalline silicon under the PS itself. The mobile charge per unit area in the channel depends on the molecular gas concentrations in the sensing layer so that adsorbed gas molecules play a role similar to the charge on the gate of a FET. In this work, NO2 detection by using the APSFET is demonstrated for the first time. NO2 concentration as low as 100 ppb was detected. Devices with both as-grown and oxidized PS layers were fabricated and compared in order to investigate the effect of a low-temperature thermal oxidation on the electrical performances of the sensor. Nonoxidized sensors show a high sensitivity only for fresh devices, which reduces with the aging of the sample. Oxidation of the PS layer improves the electrical performance of sensors, in terms of stability, recovery time, and interference with the relative humidity level, keeping the high sensitivity to nitrogen dioxide.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2006