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Sensors 2010, 10(6), 5469-5502; doi:10.3390/s100605469

Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor Gas Sensors in Environmental Monitoring

Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2010 / Revised: 10 May 2010 / Accepted: 20 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in the UK)


Metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors are utilised in a variety of different roles and industries. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other sensing technologies, robust, lightweight, long lasting and benefit from high material sensitivity and quick response times. They have been used extensively to measure and monitor trace amounts of environmentally important gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. In this review the nature of the gas response and how it is fundamentally linked to surface structure is explored. Synthetic routes to metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors are also discussed and related to their affect on surface structure. An overview of important contributions and recent advances are discussed for the use of metal oxide semiconductor sensors for the detection of a variety of gases—CO, NOx, NH3 and the particularly challenging case of CO2. Finally a description of recent advances in work completed at University College London is presented including the use of selective zeolites layers, new perovskite type materials and an innovative chemical vapour deposition approach to film deposition.
Keywords: metal oxides; semiconductor; zeolites; environmental monitoring metal oxides; semiconductor; zeolites; environmental monitoring
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fine, G.F.; Cavanagh, L.M.; Afonja, A.; Binions, R. Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor Gas Sensors in Environmental Monitoring. Sensors 2010, 10, 5469-5502.

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