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Sensing Properties of a Novel Temperature Sensor Based on Field Assisted Thermal Emission

State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710-049, China
Vacuum Micro-Electronic & Micro-Electronic Mechanical Institute, School of Electronics and Information Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christos Riziotis, Evangelos Hristoforou and Dimitrios Vlachos
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 473;
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Applications for Sensors and Transducers)
PDF [2925 KB, uploaded 27 February 2017]


The existing temperature sensors using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are limited by low sensitivity, complicated processes, or dependence on microscopy to observe the experimental results. Here we report the fabrication and successful testing of an ionization temperature sensor featuring non-self-sustaining discharge. The sharp tips of nanotubes generate high electric fields at relatively low voltages, lowering the work function of electrons emitted by CNTs, and thereby enabling the safe operation of such sensors. Due to the temperature effect on the electron emission of CNTs, the collecting current exhibited an exponential increase with temperature rising from 20 °C to 100 °C. Additionally, a higher temperature coefficient of 0.04 K−1 was obtained at 24 V voltage applied on the extracting electrode, higher than the values of other reported CNT-based temperature sensors. The triple-electrode ionization temperature sensor is easy to fabricate and converts the temperature change directly into an electrical signal. It shows a high temperature coefficient and good application potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperature sensor; carbon nanotubes; ionization; emission temperature sensor; carbon nanotubes; ionization; emission

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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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Pan, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Cheng, Z.; Tong, J.; Chen, Q.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, J.; Li, X.; Li, Y. Sensing Properties of a Novel Temperature Sensor Based on Field Assisted Thermal Emission. Sensors 2017, 17, 473.

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