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Content archived on 2024-04-19

FUNCTIONAL NANOSCALED MATERIALS FOR LONG TERM STABLE GAS SENSORS

Objective


Thick film sensors have been realised starting from nanosized powders produced by laser pyrolysis and wet precipitation methods. Powders of pure and doped TiO2 have been synthesised by laser pyrolysis.
Wet precipitation methods have been used for powder production. Sensors have been made from tin oxide and titania precursors. Good stability and sensitivity were reached.
Pure and Nb or Ga doped TiO2 thick film sensors have been successfully prepared for CO and CH4 detection.
Sensors have been prepared starting from TiO2-based powders. The performance, especially the stability, is promising.

Thin film sensors with nanoscaled sensing layers have been realised based on silicon, sapphire and alumina substrates using physical vapour deposition and RGTO (rheotaxial growth and thermal oxidation).
Thin film sensors based on silicon substrates have been designed, optimized and tested, resulting in an adequate sensitivity.
Sensors based on Ti-WO3 (for NO2 detection) and on SnO2-Au and SnO2-Pd (for CO and CH4 detection respectively have also been prepared.
Finally a new experimental set up for impedance spectroscopy was built. This technique allows a better understanding of the physical phenomena underlying the sensor operation, especially the materials inter-grain capacitance and inductance related aspects. Some of the developed sensors are performing significantly better than the present state of the art, resulting in important benefits for the industrial partners in the gas sensor market for combustion control in burners and vehicles engines.
The European market will offer in future a large demand for products that can be applied to control different kind of combustion processes in automobiles, burners as well as emissions in environmental areas. Present gas sensors do not offer the stability, precision and endurance, which is needed in the challenging applications as burner control, diesel engine and catalyse control in automobiles.

To respond to the market demand and to overtake the gap between the European and the American and Japanese know-how, a large effort has to be done to synthesise new reliable nanostructured materials capable to be operated in stable gas sensors for long term operation. Nanoscaled materials are indicated by more recent and advanced studies as a possible answer to this demands. The achievement of this know-how will enhance the competition of European industries, to compete with Japanese solid state gas sensor companies like NTK, GK and Figaro actually present on the market. The gases to be detected in this application are CO, NOx, CH4, CxHy.

The aim of the project is to synthesise Sn2, TiO2 and mixed oxide materials as SnxMyOz and TixMyOz (M=Metal) with crystallite dimensions from 1 nm up to 500 nm to be used as highly stable gas sensors materials. The substances are supposed to show improved sinterability and stability as nanostructured gas sensor materials.

Finally this project establishes co-operation on new material technologies between different European sensors enterprises. The industrial scale production is foreseen, about, three years after the project ended.

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Centro Informazioni Studi ed Esperienze SpA
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