Lowering the volatile organic compound (VOC) gas detection limit toward the ppt level on a resistive-type semiconductor gas sensor was achieved by combining the material and sensor-driven designs. We fabricated Pd-SnO2 clustered nanoparticles, a material that is highly sensitive to VOC gas, on a microsensor device with a double-pulse-driven mode. This mode was involved in switching the heater-on periods at high-temperature preheating and measurement phases and the rest phase during a heater-off period between preheating and measurement phases. The electrical resistance in synthetic air and the sensor response to toluene increased as preheating temperatures increased because of an increase in the amount of O2− adsorbed on the particle surface. In addition, extending the rest time between the preheating and measurement phases significantly improved the sensor response to toluene. According to the relationship between the sensor response and toluene concentration, we improved the lower detection limit for toluene gas to below 10 ppt, with preheating and measurement temperatures at 400 and 250 °C, respectively, and rest time at 100 s. Therefore, the combination of the material and sensor-driven designs may play a key role in improving the sensor performance.
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