Si Doped Metastable Epsilon-WO3 Nano-Particle Film for Human Breath Acetone Sensing
S = (Canalyte/Cair)-1
where, Canalyte is the conductivity of the film in presence of testing analyte and Cairis the conductivity of the film in air.
The gas detection occurs because of the reaction on the WO3surface in presence of these gases causing a change in electron concentration and hence fluctuation in electrical conductivity.
In this work Reactive Spray Deposition Technology (RSDT) has been employed as a single step flame based process for synthesizing 7-15 nm of SiO2 doped WO3 particles of 100% ε phase directly on Pt or Au interdigitated electrodes. RSDT is able to synthesize this phase of WO3 nano particles by (1) Rapidly quenching the particles produced from the film from 700 ˚C to 30 ˚C in 7 s, via an air quench flowing at 10 L/min. (2) Doping WO3 with 3-5 wt% amorphous SiO2 to prevent the formation of stable γ WO3. Quenching the particles as soon as they are formed serves two roles. First it assists in the formation of acentric ε WO3 by freezing the WO3 lattice in its thermodynamically unstable state by rapid reduction of temperature from 700 ˚C to 30 ˚C in 7 s. This does not provide enough time for the tungsten atoms to settle down in their stable position. Second it prevents sintering of the particles. Smaller size WO3 particles tends to have a higher concentration of defects and higher deformation is plausible during crystal growth. Amorphous silica introduces defects in the WO3lattice and pin the particle surfaces together, thereby reducing the driving force for phase transformation. The influence of crystal structures on sensing activities will be explored in detail.
The structure and morphology of the WO3 films prepared by RSDT has been probed by XRD, Raman Spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The as-prepared WO3 sensors will be applied for the detection of acetone sensitivities (0.5-5 ppm in simulated breath) in the temperature range of 30-500 ˚C. Characteristics such as sensitivity, selectivity, limit of detection, reproducibility, and stability will be reported. The selectivity for the interfering analytes such as humidity, CO2, NO2, H2 and ammonia will also be investigated. Finally the sensing mechanism will be discussed.