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Materials (Basel). 2015 Sep 25;8(10):6677-6684. doi: 10.3390/ma8105333.

Ultrathin Gas Permeable Oxide Membranes for Chemical Sensing: Nanoporous Ta₂O₅ Test Study.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1, Canada. alexander.imbault@mail.utoronto.ca.
2
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1, Canada. stephen.yue.wang@gmail.com.
3
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1, Canada. pkruse@mcmaster.ca.
4
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials and Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA. strelcove@ornl.gov.
5
SENSOR Laboratory, Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University and CNR-INO, Brescia 25133, Italy. elisabetta.comini@unibs.it.
6
SENSOR Laboratory, Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University and CNR-INO, Brescia 25133, Italy. giorgio.sberveglieri@ing.unibs.it.
7
Department of Physics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA. andrei.kolmakov@nist.gov.

Abstract

Conductometric gas sensors made of gas permeable metal oxide ultrathin membranes can combine the functions of a selective filter, preconcentrator, and sensing element and thus can be particularly promising for the active sampling of diluted analytes. Here we report a case study of the electron transport and gas sensing properties of such a membrane made of nanoporous Ta₂O₅. These membranes demonstrated a noticeable chemical sensitivity toward ammonia, ethanol, and acetone at high temperatures above 400 °C. Different from traditional thin films, such gas permeable, ultrathin gas sensing elements can be made suspended enabling advanced architectures of ultrasensitive analytical systems operating at high temperatures and in harsh environments.

KEYWORDS:

Ta2O5; gas permeability; gas sensor; metal oxide; ultrathin membrane

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