In this paper, we present a chemiresistive metal oxide (MOX) sensor for detection of hydrogen sulfide. Compared to the previous reports, the overall sensor performance was improved in multiple characteristics, including: sensitivity, selectivity, stability, activation time, response time, recovery time, and activation temperature. The superior sensor performance was attributed to the utilization of hybrid SnO2
oxides as interactive catalytic layers deposited using a magnetron radio frequency (RF) sputtering technique. The unique advantage of the RF sputtering for sensor fabrication is the ability to create ultra-thin films with precise control of geometry, morphology and chemical composition of the product of synthesis. Chemiresistive films down to several nanometers can be fabricated as sensing elements. The RF sputtering technique was found to be very robust for bilayer and multilayer oxide structure fabrication. The geometry, morphology, chemical composition and electronic structure of interactive layers were evaluated in relation to their gas sensing performance, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction technique (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDAX), UV visible spectroscopy, and Kelvin probe measurements. A sensor based on multilayer SnO2
catalytic layer with 10% vol. content of TiO2
demonstrated the best gas sensing performance in all characteristics. Based on the pattern relating material’s characteristics to gas sensing performance, the optimization strategy for hydrogen sulfide sensor fabrication was suggested.
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