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Microarray Study of Temperature Dependent Sensitivity and Selectivity of Metal/Oxide Sensing Interfaces



J E. Tiffany, Richard E. Cavicchi, Stephen Semancik


Conductometric gas microsensors offer the benefits of ppm-level sensitivity, real-time data, simple interfacing to electronics hardware, and low power consumption. The type of device we have been exploring consists of a sensor film deposited on a microhotplate- a 100 micron platform with built-in heating (to activate reactions on the sensing surface) and thermometry. We have been using combinatorial studies of 36-element arrays to characterize the relationship between sensor film composition, operating temperature, and response, as measured by the device's sensitivity and selectivity. Gases that have been tested on these arrays include methanol, ethanol, dichloromethane, propane, methane, acetone, benzene, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide, and are of interest in the management of environmental waste sites. These experiments compare tin oxide films modified by catalyst overlayers, and ultrathin metal seed layers. The seed layers are used as part of a chemical vapor deposition process that uses each array element's microheater to activate the deposition of SnO2, and control its microstructure. Low coverage (20 ) catalytic metals (Pd, Cu, Cr, In, Au) are deposited on the oxides by masked evaporation or sputtering. This presentation demonstrates the value of an array-based approach for developing film processing methods, measuring performance characteristics, and establishing reproducibility. It also illustrates how temperature-dependent response data for varied metal/oxide compositions can be used to tailor a microsensor array for a given application.
Proceedings of SPIE


array, chemical vapor deposition, combinatorial, gas sensor, microhotplate, tin oxide


Tiffany, J. , Cavicchi, R. and Semancik, S. (2000), Microarray Study of Temperature Dependent Sensitivity and Selectivity of Metal/Oxide Sensing Interfaces, Proceedings of SPIE, [online], (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created November 5, 2000, Updated November 10, 2018