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The Effect of Ar/O2 and H2O Plasma Treatment of SnO2 Nanoparticles and Nanowires on Carbon Monoxide and Benzene Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 25.04.2017, 00:00 by Erin P. Stuckert, Christopher J. Miller, Ellen R. Fisher
As the final piece of a broader study on structure–property performance of SnO2 sensors, this study examines the performance of sensors created from tin­(IV) oxide (SnO2) nanowires and nanoparticles as a function of temperature for untreated (UT) devices as well as those treated using Ar/O2 and H2O plasmas. Nanoparticle and nanowire sensors were exposed to air, carbon monoxide (CO), or benzene (C6H6) to determine sensor response (Rair/Rgas) and sensitivity (Rair/Rgas > 1 or Rgas/Rair > 1). Although both Ar/O2 and H2O plasma modification minimally increase sensor sensitivity toward CO and C6H6 under most conditions, this study explores initial plasma parameters of a wide array of plasma precursors to better understand the materials properties and gas-phase species that lead to specific sensing capabilities. In particular, certain Ar/O2 and H2O plasma treatment conditions resulted in increased sensitivity over UT nanomaterials at 25 and 50 °C, but of greatest importance is the knowledge gained from the combined materials, gas-phase, and sensor performance analysis that provide greater insight for effectively selecting future materials and modification systems to achieve optimal gas sensor performance.