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Suspended core-shell Pt-PtOx nanostructure for ultrasensitive hydrogen gas sensor

TitleSuspended core-shell Pt-PtOx nanostructure for ultrasensitive hydrogen gas sensor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBasu, PKr, Kallatt, S, Anumol, EA, Bhat, N
JournalJournal of Applied Physics

High sensitivity gas sensors are typically realized using metal catalysts and nanostructured materials, utilizing non-conventional synthesis and processing techniques, incompatible with on-chip integration of sensor arrays. In this work, we report a new device architecture, suspended core-shell Pt-PtOx nanostructure that is fully CMOS-compatible. The device consists of a metal gate core, embedded within a partially suspended semiconductor shell with source and drain contacts in the anchored region. The reduced work function in suspended region, coupled with built-in electric field of metal-semiconductor junction, enables the modulation of drain current, due to room temperature Redox reactions on exposure to gas. The device architecture is validated using Pt-PtO2 suspended nanostructure for sensing H2 down to 200 ppb under room temperature. By exploiting catalytic activity of PtO2, in conjunction with its p-type semiconducting behavior, we demonstrate about two orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity and limit of detection, compared to the sensorsreported in recent literature. Pt thin film, deposited on SiO2, is lithographically patterned and converted into suspended Pt-PtO2 sensor, in a single step isotropic SiO2 etching. An optimum design space for the sensor is elucidated with the initial Pt film thickness ranging between 10 nm and 30 nm, for low power (<5 μW), room temperature operation.