Title: Operational functionalities of air-quality W-Sn metal-oxide sensors correlating semiconductor defect levels and surface potential barriers
Citation: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT vol. 706 p. 135731
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC119535
ISSN: 0048-9697 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719357262?via%3Dihub
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135731
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The comprehension of atmospheric pollution levels worldwide is a crucial issue for assessing the health consequences from human exposure to polluted air, and for identifying emission reductions that will be effective for minimizing the potential risks. Advanced interconnected sensors are required that could monitor on real-time toxic gaseous concentration. The success of these instruments depends on the reliability of these devices to quantify and disseminate the pollution levels to nearby citizens. Metal-oxide semiconductors are widely used as functional materials for gas sensing because of their chemo-resistive effect when interacting with gases. Mixed oxides are usually considered for the superior performances shown with respect to the single oxides. In this work, tungsten–tin mixed oxides with different Sn molar fraction (0.0018, 0.12, 0.33 and 0.89 named WS-1, WS-2, WS-3 and WS-4) were synthesized by sol-gel co-precipitation. The powders were characterized by ICP-OES analysis, specific surface area measurements, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis-NIR and FT-IR spectroscopies. The powders were also deposited through screen-printing technology, obtaining thick film gas sensors, on which measurements of conductance as a function of temperature, surface potential barrier and dynamical responses in the presence of oxidizing or reducing gases were carried out. Based on the studied properties, the mixed oxides can be divided into two groups: the WO3-like samples (WS-1, WS-2, WS-3) and the SnO2-like sample (WS-4). All samples present pure crystalline structures: this is a new result for the WO3-like samples. There is no literature data reporting about the introduction of so high Sn content in a WO3 structure. The combination of spectroscopic and electrical characterizations allowed the definition of an interpretative model that correlates the deepness of defect levels in the band gap of these materials to the values of the surface potential barrier in air and, as a consequence, to the electrical responses to oxidizing and reducing gases.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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