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Ultrafast and Ultrasensitive Gas Sensors Derived from a Large Fermi-Level Shift in the Schottky Junction with Sieve-Layer Modulation

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journal contribution
posted on 27.06.2016, 00:00 by Ching-Cheng Cheng, Chia-Lin Wu, Yu-Ming Liao, Yang-Fang Chen
Gas sensors play an important role in numerous fields, covering a wide range of applications, including intelligent systems and detection of harmful and toxic gases. Even though they have attracted much attention, the response time on the order of seconds to minutes is still very slow. To circumvent the existing problems, here, we provide a seminal attempt with the integration of graphene, semiconductor, and an addition sieve layer forming a nanocomposite gas sensor with ultrahigh sensitivity and ultrafast response. The designed sieve layer has a suitable band structure that can serve as a blocking layer to prevent transfer of the charges induced by adsorbed gas molecules into the underlying semiconductor layer. We found that the sensitivity can be reduced to the parts per million level, and the ultrafast response of around 60 ms is unprecedented compared with published graphene-based gas sensors. The achieved high performance can be interpreted well by the large change of the Fermi level of graphene due to its inherent nature of the low density of states and blocking of the sieve layer to prevent charge transfer from graphene to the underlying semiconductor layer. Accordingly, our work is very useful and timely for the development of gas sensors with high performance for practical applications.

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