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

Optical and Electronic NOx Sensors for Applications in Mechatronics

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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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Abstract

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 (CC BY 3.0).
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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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