The aim is to provide Europe with production techniques and a production source, now monopolised by one Japanese manufacturer, for reliable and fast responding sensing devices which are selective and sensitive towards various gaseous species.
Following conclusions, compared to the original objectives, can be made:
- SnO2 is the most promising material as gas sensing material;
- Thin (sputtering, evaporation, CVD) as well as thick film technology can be used to produce gas sensing films;
- The different fabrication processes, with process parameters and the resulting gas sensitivity is determined;
- It was demonstrated within the project that these sensors could easily be produced on lab scale;
- The required mechanics and electronics for a prototype apparatus for field test was realised;
- The extra technical specifications put forward in the CENELEC working group on gas detection in domestic application were not met in the project. This was also confirmed by the initial field test results.
As such immediate commercialisation of the sensors developed in the DEMOST project will not occur. Extra treatments for stabilising the sensor response as well as to diminish the interference of some poisoning effect are known to the consortium. It was therefore thought that the implementation of these treatments could be done i a rather small time period, which was the motivation to formulate a request for extension of the project for 5 months. This however was too optimistic and the implementation of such treatments on films would require a 2 year effort.
Therefore the project tasks are :
-to investigate the potential of engineering of SnO2, In2O3,ITO or sandwiches of these materials as reliable and selective gas sensing materials
-to investigate the suitability of thin and thick films produced with these materials as reliable and selective gas sensing films
-to investigate the films and related solid state structures for the detection of gases in terms of fabrication processes, process-parameters, and the resulting gas sensitivity
-to demonstrate the use of the most successful structures as gas detectors for a number of gases on lab scale
-to demonstrate the most promising sensor with the required mechanics and electronics in a prototype apparatus by field test in such a way that a European production source for these devices can be established.