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Sensors 2015, 15(4), 7206-7227; doi:10.3390/s150407206

Performance and Stress Analysis of Metal Oxide Films for CMOS-Integrated Gas Sensors

Institute for Microelectronics, Technische Universität Wien, Gußhausstraße 27-29/E360 Wien, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ashutosh Tiwari
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 1 March 2015 / Accepted: 19 March 2015 / Published: 25 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials for Switchable Sensors)

Abstract

The integration of gas sensor components into smart phones, tablets and wrist watches will revolutionize the environmental health and safety industry by providing individuals the ability to detect harmful chemicals and pollutants in the environment using always-on hand-held or wearable devices. Metal oxide gas sensors rely on changes in their electrical conductance due to the interaction of the oxide with a surrounding gas. These sensors have been extensively studied in the hopes that they will provide full gas sensing functionality with CMOS integrability. The performance of several metal oxide materials, such as tin oxide (SnO2), zinc oxide (ZnO), indium oxide (In2O3) and indium-tin-oxide (ITO), are studied for the detection of various harmful or toxic cases. Due to the need for these films to be heated to temperatures between 250°C and 550°C during operation in order to increase their sensing functionality, a considerable degradation of the film can result. The stress generation during thin film deposition and the thermo-mechanical stress that arises during post-deposition cooling is analyzed through simulations. A tin oxide thin film is deposited using the efficient and economical spray pyrolysis technique, which involves three steps: the atomization of the precursor solution, the transport of the aerosol droplets towards the wafer and the decomposition of the precursor at or near the substrate resulting in film growth. The details of this technique and a simulation methodology are presented. The dependence of the deposition technique on the sensor performance is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal oxide; gas sensor; SnO2; spray pyrolysis; ZnO; indium-tin-oxide; In2O3; intrinsic stress; thermo-mechanical stress; simulation metal oxide; gas sensor; SnO2; spray pyrolysis; ZnO; indium-tin-oxide; In2O3; intrinsic stress; thermo-mechanical stress; simulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Filipovic, L.; Selberherr, S. Performance and Stress Analysis of Metal Oxide Films for CMOS-Integrated Gas Sensors. Sensors 2015, 15, 7206-7227.

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