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

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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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