Selective gas sensing using a sensor array based on various metal oxide thin films

Selective gas sensing using a sensor array based on various metal oxide thin films
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Semiconducting metal oxides present a good compromise among sensitivity, response time and longevity for gas sensor applications. Furthermore selective gas sensing is possible with an array of various metal oxide gas sensors, which is the so-called electronic nose. For the electronic noses, the selectivity can be enhanced by using temperature or voltage gradients and metal catalysts. Nonetheless, the use of various metal oxides as the sensing materials is the most promising method to fabricate an electronic nose on a chip. In this work, we fabricated metal oxide gas sensors based on TiO2, Nb2O5, In2O3, ZnO, and WO3 thin films and examined the electrical response of the fabricated sensors to CO, NO2, and ethanol gas at different temperatures. The experimental results showed that the use of the five sensors is capable of selectively sensing the three gases because each sensor has different sensitivity for each gas and the sensitivity varies with the material. More importantly, all the sensors show different trends in the change of the sensitivity with temperature. As a result, the plots of sensitivity showed different patterns with temperature. This temperature dependence indicates that the optimization of temperature is critical for the improvement of selectivity in gas sensing by a sensor array based on metal oxide thin films. The details in gas sensing performance and temperature dependence of each sensor will be presented with the fabrication method.
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