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Sensors 2002, 2(9), 374-382; doi:10.3390/s20900374

Benzene Sensing Using Thin Films of Titanium Dioxide Operating at Room Temperature

1,*  and 2
1 School of Engineering and Centre for Molecular and Nanoscale Electronics, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK 2 Present address: Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Frenchay, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2002 / Accepted: 4 September 2002 / Published: 23 September 2002
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Benzene is a carcinogen with a maximum permitted exposure limit in the atmosphere of 16.25μg m-3 (5 ppb). There is a need for an inexpensive instrument for measuring benzene concentrations, particularly in urban areas. We have shown that thin films of titanium dioxide dispersed in poly(vinylidenfluoride) are sensitive to benzene at room temperature with possible applications in benzene monitors. In this paper, we present a detailed study into the direct current electrical characteristics of the films when exposed to benzene. The current I through the films increase linearly with applied voltage, V, at low applied voltages (V ≲0.6V) and at higher voltages, I α V5. The results are consistent with the films being p-type semiconductors and, at higher voltages, the conduction is dominated by a space charge limited process caused by negative traps with an average energy of 0.1 eV. The films are sensitive to benzene only at the higher voltages. The proposed mechanism is that benzene molecules on the surface of the films reduce the concentration of holes. The relative resistance of the films increases linearly (r = 0.92) with benzene concentrations (sensitivity of 0.042% ppm-1) and a detection limit of 10 ppm. The films have response times to increasing and decreasing concentrations of benzene of about 1 and 5 min respectively.
Keywords: TiO2 sensor; Benzene; SCLC; Poly(vinylidenfluoride) TiO2 sensor; Benzene; SCLC; Poly(vinylidenfluoride)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mabrook, M.; Hawkins, P. Benzene Sensing Using Thin Films of Titanium Dioxide Operating at Room Temperature. Sensors 2002, 2, 374-382.

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