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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 757; doi:10.3390/s17040757

Non-Gaussian Resistance Fluctuations in Gold-Nanoparticle-Based Gas Sensors: An Appraisal of Different Evaluation Techniques

1
Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, Gdańsk University of Technology, Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdańsk, Poland
2
Department of Engineering Sciences, The Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 534, SE-75121 Uppsala, Sweden
3
Rovira i Virgili University, ETSE-DEEEA, Department of Electronics, Carrer de l’Escorxador, 43003 Tarragona, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Gas Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1825 KB, uploaded 6 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Volatile organic compounds, such as formaldehyde, can be used as biomarkers in human exhaled breath in order to non-invasively detect various diseases, and the same compounds are of much interest also in the context of environmental monitoring and protection. Here, we report on a recently-developed gas sensor, based on surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles, which is able to generate voltage noise with a distinctly non-Gaussian component upon exposure to formaldehyde with concentrations on the ppm level, whereas this component is absent, or at least much weaker, when the sensor is exposed to ethanol or to pure air. We survey four different statistical methods to elucidate a non-Gaussian component and assess their pros and cons with regard to efficient gas detection. Specifically, the non-Gaussian component was clearly exposed in analysis using level-crossing parameters, which require nothing but a modest computational effort and simple electronic circuitry, and analogous results could be reached through the bispectrum function, albeit with more intense computation. Useful information could be obtained also via the Lévy-stable distribution and, possibly, the second spectrum. View Full-Text
Keywords: gas sensor; 1/f noise; gold nanoparticles; higher-order statistics; bispectrum; second spectrum; level-crossing statistics; Lévy-stable distribution gas sensor; 1/f noise; gold nanoparticles; higher-order statistics; bispectrum; second spectrum; level-crossing statistics; Lévy-stable distribution
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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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Lentka, Ł.; Smulko, J.; Kotarski, M.; Granqvist, C.-G.; Ionescu, R. Non-Gaussian Resistance Fluctuations in Gold-Nanoparticle-Based Gas Sensors: An Appraisal of Different Evaluation Techniques. Sensors 2017, 17, 757.

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