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Sensors 2009, 9(5), 3337-3356; doi:10.3390/s90503337

Optical and Electronic NOx Sensors for Applications in Mechatronics

1,* , 1,2
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1 CNR-INFM Regional Laboratory LIT3, via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari, Italy 2 Physics Department, University of Bari, Via Amendola 173, I-70126 Bari, Italy 3 Physics Department, Politecnico di Bari, Via Amendola 173, I-70126 Bari, Italy 4 Chemistry Department, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70126, Bari, Italy 5 Institute of Inorganic Methodologies and of Plasmas, IMIP-CNR, via Orabona 4, 70126, Bari, Italy 6 Duke University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Durham, NC 27708, USA 7 ISI Consulting, via Brunelleschi 15, 70010 Casamassima (BA), Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 March 2009 / Revised: 24 April 2009 / Accepted: 6 May 2009 / Published: 6 May 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Italy)
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Current production and emerging NOx sensors based on optical and nanomaterials technologies are reviewed. In view of their potential applications in mechatronics, we compared the performance of: i) Quantum cascade lasers (QCL) based photoacoustic (PA) systems; ii) gold nanoparticles as catalytically active materials in field-effect transistor (FET) sensors, and iii) functionalized III-V semiconductor based devices. QCL-based PA sensors for NOx show a detection limit in the sub part-per-million range and are characterized by high selectivity and compact set-up. Electrochemically synthesized gold-nanoparticle FET sensors are able to monitor NOx in a concentration range from 50 to 200 parts per million and are suitable for miniaturization. Porphyrin-functionalized III-V semiconductor materials can be used for the fabrication of a reliable NOx sensor platform characterized by high conductivity, corrosion resistance, and strong surface state coupling.
Keywords: Mechatronics; NOx; optical sensor; semiconductor based sensor; nanoparticle Mechatronics; NOx; optical sensor; semiconductor based sensor; nanoparticle
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.

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Di Franco, C.; Elia, A.; Spagnolo, V.; Scamarcio, G.; Lugarà, P.M.; Ieva, E.; Cioffi, N.; Torsi, L.; Bruno, G.; Losurdo, M.; Garcia, M.A.; Wolter, S.D.; Brown, A.; Ricco, M. Optical and Electronic NOx Sensors for Applications in Mechatronics. Sensors 2009, 9, 3337-3356.

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