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Sensors 2010, 10(5), 4898-4906; doi:10.3390/s100504898
Communication

High Sensitivity Carbon Nanotubes Flow-Rate Sensors and Their Performance Improvement by Coating

1,2,* , 1,2
,
1,2
 and
1,2
1 MEMS Lab, Department of Precision Instruments & Mechanology, Tsinghua University, 100084, Beijing, China 2 State Key Lab of Precision Measurement Technology and Instrumentation, Tsinghua University, 100084, Beijing, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2010 / Revised: 17 April 2010 / Accepted: 25 April 2010 / Published: 14 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

A new type of hot-wire flow-rate sensor (HWFS) with a sensing element made of a macro-sized carbon nanotube (CNT) strand is presented in this study. An effective way to improve repeatability of the CNT flow-rate sensor by coating a layer of Al2O3 on the CNT surface is proposed. Experimental results show that due to the large surface-to-volume ratio and thin coated Al2O3 layer, the CNT flow-rate sensor has higher sensitivity and faster response than a conventional platinum (Pt) HWFS. It is also demonstrated that the covered CNT flow-rate sensor has better repeatability than its bare counterpart due to insulation from the surrounding environment. The proposed CNT flow-rate sensor shows application potential for high-sensitivity measurement of flow rate.
Keywords: flow-rate sensor; carbon nanotube; hysterisis error; coating flow-rate sensor; carbon nanotube; hysterisis error; coating
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Yang, X.; Zhou, Z.; Wang, D.; Liu, X. High Sensitivity Carbon Nanotubes Flow-Rate Sensors and Their Performance Improvement by Coating. Sensors 2010, 10, 4898-4906.

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