Novel method for the detection of short trace gas pulses with metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors

Baur, Tobias; Schultealbert, Caroline; Schütze, Andreas; Sauerwald, Tilman

A novel method for the detection of short pulses of gas at very low concentrations, the differential surface reduction (DSR), is presented. DSR is related to the temperature pulsed reduction (TPR) method. In a high temperature phase, e.g., at 400 inline-formulaC, the surface of a metal oxide semiconductor gas sensor (MOS) is oxidized in air and then cooled abruptly down to, e.g., 100 inline-formulaC, conserving the large excess of negative surface charge. In this state reactions of reducing gases with surface oxygen are strongly favored, which increases the sensitivity. Due to the large energy barrier between metal oxide grains caused by the excess surface charge, a highly precise electrical measurement at very low conductance (down to 10inline-formula−11 S) is a prerequisite for this method. Moreover, the electrical measurement must be very fast to allow a good resolution of retention times. Applying the method to a doped inline-formulaSnO2 detector, gas pulses down to a dosage of 1 ppb times seconds can be detected. The gas transport inside the detector is simulated using the finite element method (FEM) to optimize the gas transport and to keep response and recovery time as short as possible. With this approach, we have demonstrated a detection limit for ethanol of below 47 fg.

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Baur, Tobias / Schultealbert, Caroline / Schütze, Andreas / et al: Novel method for the detection of short trace gas pulses with metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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