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Performance Evaluation of an Oxygen Sensor as a Function of the Samaria Doped Ceria Film Thickness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

Rahul Pankaj Sanghavi
Affiliation:
Rahul.Sanghavi@pnl.govrahulsanghavi7@gmail.com
Manjula Nandasiri
Affiliation:
Manjula.Nandasiri@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Satyanarayana Kuchibhatla
Affiliation:
satyanarayana.kuchibhatla@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Ponnusamy Nachimuthu
Affiliation:
ponnusamy.nachimuthu@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Mark H. Engelhard
Affiliation:
mark.engelhard@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Vaithiyalingam Shutthanandan
Affiliation:
Shuttha@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Weilin Jiang
Affiliation:
weilin.jiang@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Suntharampillai Thevuthasan
Affiliation:
theva@pnl.gov, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States
Asghar Kayani
Affiliation:
Asghar.Kayani@wmich.edu, Western Michigan University, Physics Department, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Shalini Prasad
Affiliation:
Shalini.Prasad.1@asu.edu, Arizona State University, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Tempe, Arizona, United States
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Abstract

The current demand in the automobile industry is in the control of air-fuel mixture in the combustion engine of automobiles. Oxygen partial pressure can be used as an input parameter for regulating or controlling systems in order to optimize the combustion process. Our goal is to identify and optimize the material system that would potentially function as the active sensing material for such a device that monitors oxygen partial pressure in these systems. We have used thin film samaria doped ceria (SDC) as the sensing material for the sensor operation, exploiting the fact that at high temperatures, oxygen vacancies generated due to samarium doping act as conducting medium for oxygen ions which hop through the vacancies from one side to the other contributing to an electrical signal. We have recently established that 6 atom % Sm doping in ceria films has optimum conductivity. Based on this observation, we have studied the variation in the overall conductivity of 6 atom % samaria doped ceria thin films as a function of thickness in the range of 50 nm to 300 nm at a fixed bias voltage of 2 volts. A direct proportionality in the increase in the overall conductivity is observed with the increase in sensing film thickness. For a range of oxygen pressure values from 0.001 Torr to 100 Torr, a tolerable hysteresis error, good dynamic response and a response time of less than 10 seconds was observed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2010

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