2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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TechConnect Summit
Clean Technology 2008

Optimal SiO2 doping for enhanced SnO2 sensitivity and thermal stability

A. Tricoli, M. Graf, S.E. Pratsinis

sintering, nanoparticles, SiO2, metal-oxide gas sensors, combustion synthesis

In metal-oxide gas sensors the relationship between nano-size and thermal stability is very challenging. Miniaturization of the sensitive material down to nano-scale and doping with noble metals has led to successful detection of analytes in ppb concentrations, but long term stability, which may be related to crystal growth, is still unresolved. The sensitivity of SnO2, the most widely used metal-oxide for gas sensors, increases drastically with decreasing grain size from 20 to 5 nm. Preserving these sizes during sensor fabrication and operation is difficult since high process and operation temperatures ( 200 – 900 °C) are applied. Here one-step synthesis of thermally stable and highly sensitive films of SnO2-SiO2 nanostructures is explored by FSP. Control and stabilization of the SnO2 particle and neck size is obtained by varying the SiO2 content during synthesis and direct deposition of these SnO2-based films. Detailed film characterization is carried out to understand the role of SiO2 for inhibiting SnO2 grain and crystal growth as well as the role of primary particle and neck size on film sensitivity of EtOH, a common analyte in sensor development.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract