Facile Quantification and Identification Techniques for Reducing Gases over a Wide Concentration Range Using a MOS Sensor in Temperature-Cycled Operation

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Mar 1;18(3):744. doi: 10.3390/s18030744.


Dedicated methods for quantification and identification of reducing gases based on model-based temperature-cycled operation (TCO) using a single commercial MOS gas sensor are presented. During high temperature phases the sensor surface is highly oxidized, yielding a significant sensitivity increase after switching to lower temperatures (differential surface reduction, DSR). For low concentrations, the slope of the logarithmic conductance during this low-temperature phase is evaluated and can directly be used for quantification. For higher concentrations, the time constant for reaching a stable conductance during the same low-temperature phase is evaluated. Both signals represent the reaction rate of the reducing gas on the strongly oxidized surface at this low temperature and provide a linear calibration curve, which is exceptional for MOS sensors. By determining these reaction rates on different low-temperature plateaus and applying pattern recognition, the resulting footprint can be used for identification of different gases. All methods are tested over a wide concentration range from 10 ppb to 100 ppm (4 orders of magnitude) for four different reducing gases (CO, H₂, ammonia and benzene) using randomized gas exposures.

Keywords: MOS gas sensor; differential surface reduction; linear calibration; quantification; selectivity; sensitivity; temperature-cycled operation.