Hydrogen (H2) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sensing properties of SnO2 thin films obtained by direct oxidation of chemically deposited SnS films has been studied. The SnS film was prepared by a chemical technique called SILAR (Successive Ionic Layer Adsorption and Reaction). The sensor element comprises of a layer of chemically deposited SnO2 film with an overlayer of palladium (Pd) sensitiser. The Pd sensitiser layer was also formed following a chemical technique. The double layer element so formed shows significantly high sensitivity to H2 and LPG. The temperature variation of sensitivity was studied and the maximum sensitivity of 99.7% was observed at around 200°C for 1 vol% H2 in air. The response time to target gas was about 10 seconds and the sensor element was found to recover to its original resistance reasonably fast. The maximum sensitivity of 98% for 1.6 vol% LPG was observed at around 325°C. The sensor response and recovery was reasonably fast (less than one minute) at this temperature.
Methane (CH4) sensitivity of zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film has been studied in the present work. The sensor element comprises of a chemically fabricated ZnO semiconducting layer and a layer of palladium (Pd) as catalyst. The catalyst layer was formed on the surface of semiconducting ZnO following a wet chemical process from palladium chloride (PdCl2) solution. Fundamental features of a sensor element e.g. sensitivity, response time and recovery process has been studied. The effect of operating temperature on performance of the sensor material has been investigated and a choice of optimum temperature was made at around 200oC. The sensor element exhibited reasonable sensitivity of about 86% at this temperature in presence of 1 vol% methane (CH4) in air.