Sensors 2012, 12(9), 12329-12346; doi:10.3390/s120912329
Article

The Effect of the Thickness of the Sensitive Layer on the Performance of the Accumulating NOx Sensor

1 University of Bayreuth, Zentrum für Energietechnik, Lehrstuhl für Funktionsmaterialien, Bayreuth 95440, Germany 2 Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, Dearborn, MI 48124, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2012; in revised form: 28 August 2012 / Accepted: 31 August 2012 / Published: 10 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
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Abstract: A novel and promising method to measure low levels of NOx utilizes the accumulating sensor principle. During an integration cycle, incoming NOx molecules are stored in a sensitive layer based on an automotive lean NOx trap (LNT) material that changes its electrical resistivity proportional to the amount of stored NOx, making the sensor suitable for long-term detection of low levels of NOx. In this study, the influence of the thickness of the sensitive layer, prepared by multiple screen-printing, is investigated. All samples show good accumulating sensing properties for both NO and NO2. In accordance to a simplified model, the base resistance of the sensitive layer and the sensitivity to NOx decrease with increasing thickness. Contrarily, the sensor response time increases. The linear measurement range of all samples ends at a sensor response of about 30% resulting in an increase of the linearly detectable amount with the thickness. Hence, the variation of the thickness of the sensitive layer is a powerful tool to adapt the linear measurement range (proportional to the thickness) as well as the sensitivity (proportional to the inverse thickness) to the application requirements. Calculations combining the sensor model with the measurement results indicate that for operation in the linear range, about 3% of the LNT material is converted to nitrate.
Keywords: lean NOx trap (LNT); NOx storage and reduction catalyst (NSR); low ppm-level NOx sensing; semiconducting gas sensor; linear measurement range adaption; carbonate nitrate conversion

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MDPI and ACS Style

Groß, A.; Richter, M.; Kubinski, D.J.; Visser, J.H.; Moos, R. The Effect of the Thickness of the Sensitive Layer on the Performance of the Accumulating NOx Sensor. Sensors 2012, 12, 12329-12346.

AMA Style

Groß A, Richter M, Kubinski DJ, Visser JH, Moos R. The Effect of the Thickness of the Sensitive Layer on the Performance of the Accumulating NOx Sensor. Sensors. 2012; 12(9):12329-12346.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Groß, Andrea; Richter, Miriam; Kubinski, David J.; Visser, Jacobus H.; Moos, Ralf. 2012. "The Effect of the Thickness of the Sensitive Layer on the Performance of the Accumulating NOx Sensor." Sensors 12, no. 9: 12329-12346.

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