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2000-2002 S&T e-Digest Contents


Vol. 36, Issue 10,  October 2003, pp. 16-23




Microhotplate Sensor Arrays Based on Sputtered and Screen-Printed Metal Oxide Films

for Selective Detection of Volatile Compounds


Peter IVANOV1, Mariana STANKOVA1, Eduard LLOBET1, Xavier VILANOVA1

Isabel GRACIA2, Carles CANE2 and Xavier CORREIG1


1Dept. of Electronic Engineering,

Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Avda. Pa´sos Catalans 26,

43007 Tarragona, Spain, Tel: +34 977 558502, fax: +34 977 559605

E-mail: pivanov@etse.urv.es, http://www.etse.urv.es


2Dept. of Microsystems and Silicon Technologies, 

Centre Nacional de Microelectr˛nica, Campus UAB, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain


Received: 9 October 2003    /Accepted: 18 October 2003    /Published: 27 October 2003


Abstract: This paper reports on the fabrication and characterization of integrated tin oxide gas sensor microarrays. A nano-particle tin oxide film was deposited onto the 4-element microarrays either by r.f. sputtering or screen-printing. Both procedures allowed for the deposition of the sensing layers before hotplate membranes had been etched, which led to gas micro-sensors with an excellent fabrication yield. The sensitivity of the sensor arrays to different volatiles (acetone, ammonia and ethanol) and their binary mixtures were investigated as a function of the deposition method, operating temperature and electrode geometry. The measured responses show different patterns for each of the tested volatiles and, therefore, are suitable for evaluation by pattern recognition techniques. A fuzzy ARTMAP classifier was evaluated for gas identification and concentration estimation. A 100% success rate in vapor classification was obtained. These results prove the usefulness of the techniques implemented to obtain micro-machined sensors appropriate for battery-powered vapor monitors.


Keywords: microhotplate, r.f. sputtering, screen-printing, tin oxide, volatile compounds, pattern recognition.


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