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Biosensors 2012, 2(2), 221-233; doi:10.3390/bios2020221

Structural Stability and Performance of Noble Metal-Free SnO2-Based Gas Sensors

Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Received: 22 April 2012 / Revised: 18 May 2012 / Accepted: 25 May 2012 / Published: 29 May 2012
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Abstract

The structural stability of pure SnO2 nanoparticles and highly sensitive SnO2-SiO2 nanocomposites (0–15 SiO2 wt%) has been investigated for conditions relevant to their utilization as chemoresistive gas sensors. Thermal stabilization by SiO2 co-synthesis has been investigated at up to 600 °C determining regimes of crystal size stability as a function of SiO2-content. For operation up to 400 °C, thermally stable crystal sizes of ca. 24 and 11 nm were identified for SnO2 nanoparticles and 1.4 wt% SnO2-SiO2 nanocomposites, respectively. The effect of crystal growth during operation (TO = 320 °C) on the sensor response to ethanol has been reported, revealing possible long-term destabilization mechanisms. In particular, crystal growth and sintering-neck formation were discussed with respect to their potential to change the sensor response and calibration. Furthermore, the effect of SiO2 cosynthesis on the cross-sensitivity to humidity of these noble metal-free SnO2-based gas sensors was assessed.
Keywords: gas sensors; SnO2; semiconductors; chemoresistive; nanoparticles; long-term stability; grain growth; relative humidity; noble metals; SiO2 gas sensors; SnO2; semiconductors; chemoresistive; nanoparticles; long-term stability; grain growth; relative humidity; noble metals; SiO2
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tricoli, A. Structural Stability and Performance of Noble Metal-Free SnO2-Based Gas Sensors. Biosensors 2012, 2, 221-233.

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