Long-term stability of a chemical sensor is an essential quality for long-term collection of data related to exhaled breath, environmental air, and other sources in the Internet of things (IoT) era. Although an oxide nanowire sensor has shown great potential as a chemical sensor, the long-term stability of sensitivity has not been realized yet due to electrical degradation under harsh sensing conditions. Here, we report a rational concept to accomplish long-term electrical stability of metal oxide nanowire sensors via introduction of a heavily doped metal oxide contact layer. Antimony-doped SnO2 (ATO) contacts on SnO2 nanowires show much more stable and lower electrical contact resistance than conventional Ti contacts for high temperature (200 °C) conditions, which are required to operate chemical sensors. The stable and low contact resistance of ATO was confirmed for at least 1960 h under 200 °C in open air. This heavily doped oxide contact enables us to realize the long-term stability of SnO2 nanowire sensors while maintaining the sensitivity for both NO2 gas and light (photo) detections. The applicability of our method is confirmed for sensors on a flexible polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate. Since the proposed fundamental concept can be applied to various oxide nanostructures, it will give a foundation for designing long-term stable oxide nanomaterial-based IoT sensors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes