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Materials 2015, 8(9), 6570-6588; doi:10.3390/ma8095323

Effect of Water Vapor and Surface Morphology on the Low Temperature Response of Metal Oxide Semiconductor Gas Sensors

1
Airbus Group Innovations, München D-81663, Germany
2
Fachbereich 06, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Lothstraße 34, Munich D-80335, Germany
3
Physikalisches Institut, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Gießen 35392, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elisabetta Comini
Received: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Chemical Sensing Applications)
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Abstract

In this work the low temperature response of metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors is analyzed. Important characteristics of this low-temperature response are a pronounced selectivity to acid- and base-forming gases and a large disparity of response and recovery time constants which often leads to an integrator-type of gas response. We show that this kind of sensor performance is related to the trend of semiconductor gas sensors to adsorb water vapor in multi-layer form and that this ability is sensitively influenced by the surface morphology. In particular we show that surface roughness in the nanometer range enhances desorption of water from multi-layer adsorbates, enabling them to respond more swiftly to changes in the ambient humidity. Further experiments reveal that reactive gases, such as NO2 and NH3, which are easily absorbed in the water adsorbate layers, are more easily exchanged across the liquid/air interface when the humidity in the ambient air is high. View Full-Text
Keywords: low temperature gas response; integrator gas response; SnO2; surface morphology; water vapor; BET adsorption low temperature gas response; integrator gas response; SnO2; surface morphology; water vapor; BET adsorption
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Maier, K.; Helwig, A.; Müller, G.; Hille, P.; Eickhoff, M. Effect of Water Vapor and Surface Morphology on the Low Temperature Response of Metal Oxide Semiconductor Gas Sensors. Materials 2015, 8, 6570-6588.

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