The paper presents the results of our investigation on the effect of the molecular structure of organic vapors on the characteristics of resistive chemical gas sensors. The sensors were based on tin dioxide and prepared by means of thick film technology. The electrical and catalytic examinations showed that the abstraction of two hydrogen atoms from the organic molecule and formation of a water in result of reaction with a chemisorbed oxygen ion, determine the rate of oxidation reactions, and thus the sensor performance. The rate of the process depends on the order of carbon atoms and Lewis acidity of the molecule. Therefore, any modification of the surface centers of a sensor material, modifies not only the sensor sensitivity, but also its selectivity.
Keywords: Lewis acidity; alcohol; gas sensor; molecular structure; oxidation reaction.