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Sensors 2009, 9(4), 2682-2696; doi:10.3390/s90402682

Nanoparticle Thin Films for Gas Sensors Prepared by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation

1,*  and 2
1 University of Salento, Department of Physics, Via Arnesano, 73100 Lecce, Italy 2 Istituto per la Microelettronica ed i Microsistemi (IMM) CNR, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 February 2009 / Revised: 7 April 2009 / Accepted: 10 April 2009 / Published: 16 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Italy)
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The matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) technique has been used for the deposition of metal dioxide (TiO2, SnO2) nanoparticle thin films for gas sensor applications. For this purpose, colloidal metal dioxide nanoparticles were diluted in volatile solvents, the solution was frozen at the liquid nitrogen temperature and irradiated with a pulsed excimer laser. The dioxide nanoparticles were deposited on Si and Al2O3 substrates. A rather uniform distribution of TiO2 nanoparticles with an average size of about 10 nm and of SnO2 nanoparticles with an average size of about 3 nm was obtained, as demonstrated by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM-FEG) inspections. Gas-sensing devices based on the resistive transduction mechanism were fabricated by depositing the nanoparticle thin films onto suitable rough alumina substrates equipped with interdigitated electrical contacts and heating elements. Electrical characterization measurements were carried out in controlled environment. The results of the gas-sensing tests towards low concentrations of ethanol and acetone vapors are reported. Typical gas sensor parameters (gas responses, response/recovery time, sensitivity, and low detection limit) towards ethanol and acetone are presented.
Keywords: Nanoparticles; thin films; MAPLE; gas sensors Nanoparticles; thin films; MAPLE; gas sensors
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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Caricato, A.P.; Luches, A.; Rella, R. Nanoparticle Thin Films for Gas Sensors Prepared by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation. Sensors 2009, 9, 2682-2696.

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