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Development of SiC-based Gas Sensors for Aerospace Applications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2011

G. W. Hunter
Affiliation:
NASA Glenn Research Center, Instrumentation and Controls Division 21000 Brookpark Road, M/S 77-1, Cleveland OH 44135
P. G. Neudeck
Affiliation:
NASA Glenn Research Center, Instrumentation and Controls Division 21000 Brookpark Road, M/S 77-1, Cleveland OH 44135
J. Xu
Affiliation:
NASA Glenn Research Center, Instrumentation and Controls Division 21000 Brookpark Road, M/S 77-1, Cleveland OH 44135
D. Lukco
Affiliation:
QSS Group, Inc., Cleveland, OH 44135
A. Trunek
Affiliation:
OAI, Cleveland, OH 44135
M. Artale
Affiliation:
Akima Corporation, Fairview Park, OH 44126
P. Lampard
Affiliation:
Akima Corporation, Fairview Park, OH 44126
D. Androjna
Affiliation:
Akima Corporation, Fairview Park, OH 44126
D. Makel
Affiliation:
Makel Engineering, Chico, CA 95973
B. Ward
Affiliation:
Makel Engineering, Chico, CA 95973
C. C. Liu
Affiliation:
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
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Abstract

Silicon carbide (SiC) based gas sensors have the ability to meet the needs of a range of aerospace applications including leak detection, environmental control, emission monitoring, and fire detection. While each of these applications require that the sensor and associated packaging be tailored for that individual application, they all require sensitive detection. The sensing approach taken to meet these needs is the use of SiC as a semiconductor in a Schottky diode configuration due to the demonstrated high sensitivity of Schottky diode-based sensors. However, Schottky diode structures require good control of the interface between the gas sensitive metal and SiC in order to meet required levels of sensitivity and stability. Two examples of effort to better control the SiC gas sensitive Schottky diode interface will be discussed. First, the use of chrome carbide as a barrier layer between the metal and SiC is discussed. Second, we report the first use of atomically flat SiC to provide an improved SiC semiconductor surface for gas sensor deposition. An example of the demonstration of a SiC gas sensor in an aerospace applications is given. It is concluded that, while significant progress has been made, the development of SiC gas sensor systems is still at a relatively early level of maturity for a number of applications.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2004

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