Sensitivity-Selectivity Trade-Offs in Surface Ionization Gas Detection

Year: 2018

Authors: Mueller G., Prades J. D., Hackner A., Ponzoni A., Comini E., Sberveglieri G.

Autors Affiliation: Department of Applied Sciences and Mechatronics, Munich University of Applied Sciences, D-80335 Munich, Germany; MIND Group—Departament d’Engiyeria Electrònica i Biomèdica, Universitat de Barcelona, C Martí i Franquès, 108028 Barcelona, Spain; IN2UB, Institut de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia de la Universitat de Barcelona, C Martí i Franquès, 108028 Barcelona, Spain; AIRBUS Central R&T, D-81663 Munich, Germany; National Institute of Optics (CNR-INO), National Research Council, Via Branze 45, 25123 Brescia, Italy; Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia, Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy; NANO SENSOR SYSTEMS SRL—Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy

Abstract: Surface ionization (SI) provides a simple, sensitive, and selective method for the detection of high-proton affinity substances, such as organic decay products, medical and illicit drugs as well as a range of other hazardous materials. Tests on different kinds of SI sensors showed that the sensitivity and selectivity of such devices is not only dependent on the stoichiometry and nanomorphology of the emitter materials, but also on the shape of the electrode configurations that are used to read out the SI signals. Whereas, in parallel-plate capacitor devices, different kinds of emitter materials exhibit a high level of amine-selectivity, MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical-systems) and NEMS (nanowire) versions of SI sensors employing the same kinds of emitter materials provide significantly higher sensitivity, however, at the expense of a reduced chemical selectivity. In this paper, it is argued that such sensitivity-selectivity trade-offs arise from unselective physical ionization phenomena that occur in the high-field regions immediately adjacent to the surfaces of sharply curved MEMS (NEMS) emitter and collector electrodes.


Volume: 8 (12)      Pages from: 1017-1  to: 1017-22

More Information: The authors benefitted from funds of the European Union granted under the European Union-Russia Integration project S3 (Surface ionization and novel concepts in nano-MOX gas sensors with increased Selectivity, Sensitivity and Stability for detection of low concentrations of toxic and explosive agents), contract number NMP-2009-1.2-3. During their employment with EADS Innovation Works G.M. and A.H. also benefitted from financial support under the EU security project DIRAC (Portable system for rapid detection of illicit Drugs and key precursors by Infra-Red Absorption spectroscopy and gas Chromatography), contract number SEC-2009.1.3.2. J.D.P. acknowledges support from the Serra Hunter Program and by the European Research Council under Grant Agreement n. 336917.
KeyWords: surface ionization, gas detection, sensitivity, selectivity, corona discharge, secondary electron emission
DOI: 10.3390/nano8121017

Citations: 5
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