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Sensors 2011, 11(7), 7127-7140; doi:10.3390/s110707127

Nanocrystalline SnO2:F Thin Films for Liquid Petroleum Gas Sensors

Department of Electronics, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok 10520, Thailand
Received: 30 May 2011 / Revised: 20 June 2011 / Accepted: 27 June 2011 / Published: 11 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

This paper reports the improvement in the sensing performance of nanocrystalline SnO2-based liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sensors by doping with fluorine (F). Un-doped and F-doped tin oxide films were prepared on glass substrates by the dip-coating technique using a layer-by-layer deposition cycle (alternating between dip-coating a thin layer followed by a drying in air after each new layer). The results showed that this technique is superior to the conventional technique for both improving the film thickness uniformity and film transparency. The effect of F concentration on the structural, surface morphological and LPG sensing properties of the SnO2 films was investigated. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and X-ray diffraction pattern measurements showed that the obtained thin films are nanocrystalline SnO2 with nanoscale-textured surfaces. Gas sensing characteristics (sensor response and response/recovery time) of the SnO2:F sensors based on a planar interdigital structure were investigated at different operating temperatures and at different LPG concentrations. The addition of fluorine to SnO2 was found to be advantageous for efficient detection of LPG gases, e.g., F-doped sensors are more stable at a low operating temperature (300 °C) with higher sensor response and faster response/recovery time, compared to un-doped sensor materials. The sensors based on SnO2:F films could detect LPG even at a low level of 25% LEL, showing the possibility of using this transparent material for LPG leak detection. View Full-Text
Keywords: F-doped tin oxide films; dip-coating technique; liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sensors F-doped tin oxide films; dip-coating technique; liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sensors
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chaisitsak, S. Nanocrystalline SnO2:F Thin Films for Liquid Petroleum Gas Sensors. Sensors 2011, 11, 7127-7140.

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