Tin Oxide Cluster Assembled Films: Morphology and Gas Sensors
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
In this thesis, investigations into fabricating tin oxide hydrogen gas sensors from films assembled by the deposition of tin clusters are reported. The tin clusters were formed in a UHV compatible cluster apparatus by DC magnetron sputtering and inert gas aggregation. Through SEM imaging, it was found that the morphology of tin cluster assembled films deposited onto silicon nitride substrates was highly coalesced. The coalescence between the clusters was significantly reduced by reacting the clusters with nitrogen before they were deposited. This resulted in granular films with a grain size close to that of the deposited clusters.
The coalesced and granular tin films were used to fabricate tin oxide conducti-metric gas sensors. This was done by depositing the tin films onto gold contacts and then oxidising them by baking them at 250°C for 24 hours. The sensors were tested using a purpose built gas test rig. It was found that the sensors with the granular film morphology were much more sensitive to 500 ppm, 1000 ppm, and 5000 ppm of hydrogen at 200°C in ambient air with zero humidity. This was attributed to the smaller grain size and the larger surface area of the granular films.