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CuO Thin Films Functionalized with Gold Nanoparticles for Conductometric Carbon Dioxide Gas Sensing

: Wimmer-Teubenbacher, R.; Sosada-Ludwikowska, F.; Travieso, B.Z.; Defregger, S.; Tokmak, O.; Niehaus, J.S.; Deluca, M.; Köck, A.

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Chemosensors 6 (2018), No.4, Art. 56, 18 pp.
ISSN: 2227-9040
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Metal oxides (MOx) are a well-established material for gas sensing. MOx-based gas sensors are sensitive to a wide variety of gases. Furthermore, these materials can be applied for the fabrication of low-cost and -power consumption devices in mass production. The market of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas sensors is mainly dominated by infra-red (IR)-based gas sensors. Only a few MOx materials show a sensitivity to CO2 and so far, none of these materials have been integrated on CMOS platforms suitable for mass production. In this work, we report a cupric oxide (CuO) thin film-based gas sensor functionalized with gold (Au) nanoparticles, which exhibits exceptional sensitivity to CO2. The CuO-based gas sensors are fabricated by electron beam lithography, thermal evaporation and lift-off process to form patterned copper (Cu) structures. These structures are thermally oxidized to form a continuous CuO film. Gold nanoparticles are drop-coated on the CuO thin films to enhance their sensitivity towards CO2. The CuO thin films fabricated by this method are already sensitive to CO2; however, the functionalization of the CuO film strongly increases the sensitivity of the base material. Compared to the pristine CuO thin film the Au functionalized CuO film shows at equal operation temperatures (300∘C) an increase of sensitivity towards the same gas concentration (e.g., 2000 ppm CO2) by a factor of 13. The process flow used to fabricate Au functionalized CuO gas sensors can be applied on CMOS platforms in specific post processing steps.