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Oxidized Carbon Nanohorns as Novel Sensing Layer for Resistive Humidity Sensor

Bogdan Catalin Serban, Octavian Buiu, Nicolae Dumbravescu, Cornel Cobianu, Viorel Avramescu, Mihai Brezeanu, Marius Bumbac, Cristina Mihaela Nicolescu

Abstract


The paper reports the relative humidity (RH) sensing response of a resistive sensor employing oxidized carbon nanohorns - based sensing layer. The sensing layer is deposited on an interdigitated (IDT) structure, comprising a Si substrate, a SiO2 layer, and IDT electrodes. The structure exhibits good RH sensitivity when varying RH from 0% up to 90%, either in humid nitrogen or in a humid air environment. The conductivity of the sensing layer decreases, while the RH level increases. During the interaction with the water molecules (acting as electron donors), the number of holes will decrease and oxidized single-walled carbon nanohorns (SWCNHs), considered normally p-type semiconductor, will become more resistive. The sensing mechanism is explained in terms of the Hard Soft Acid Base (HSAB) paradigm, building on the fact that water molecules are hard bases, while oxidized carbon nanohorns can be virtually assimilated with hard acids.


Keywords


Humidity sensor; oxidized carbon nanohorns; HSAB principle

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17344/acsi.2019.5415

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Copyright (c) 2020 Bogdan Catalin Serban, Octavian Buiu, Nicolae Dumbravescu, Cornel Cobianu, Viorel Avramescu, Mihai Brezeanu, Marius Bumbac, Cristina Mihaela Nicolescu

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