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Sensors (Basel). 2009;9(5):3337-56. doi: 10.3390/s90503337. Epub 2009 May 6.

Optical and Electronic NO(x) Sensors for Applications in Mechatronics.

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CNR-INFM Regional Laboratory LIT3, via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari, Italy; E-Mails: (A.E.); (V.S.); (G.S.); (P.M.L.).


Current production and emerging NO(x) sensors based on optical and nanomaterials technologies are reviewed. In view of their potential applications in mechatronics, we compared the performance of: i) Quantum cascade lasers (QCL) based photoacoustic (PA) systems; ii) gold nanoparticles as catalytically active materials in field-effect transistor (FET) sensors, and iii) functionalized III-V semiconductor based devices. QCL-based PA sensors for NO(x) show a detection limit in the sub part-per-million range and are characterized by high selectivity and compact set-up. Electrochemically synthesized gold-nanoparticle FET sensors are able to monitor NO(x) in a concentration range from 50 to 200 parts per million and are suitable for miniaturization. Porphyrin-functionalized III-V semiconductor materials can be used for the fabrication of a reliable NO(x) sensor platform characterized by high conductivity, corrosion resistance, and strong surface state coupling.


Mechatronics; NOx; nanoparticle; optical sensor; semiconductor based sensor

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