J. Semicond. > Volume 39 > Issue 6 > Article Number: 063001

Ammonia sensing using arrays of silicon nanowires and graphene

K. Fobelets 1, , , C. Panteli 1, , O. Sydoruk 1, and Chuanbo Li 2,

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Abstract: Ammonia (NH3) is a toxic gas released in different industrial, agricultural and natural processes. It is also a biomarker for some diseases. These require NH3 sensors for health and safety reasons. To boost the sensitivity of solid-state sensors, the effective sensing area should be increased. Two methods are explored and compared using an evaporating pool of 0.5 mL NH4OH (28% NH3). In the first method an array of Si nanowires (Si NWA) is obtained via metal-assisted-electrochemical etching to increase the effective surface area. In the second method CVD graphene is suspended on top of the Si nanowires to act as a sensing layer. Both the effective surface area as well as the density of surface traps influences the amplitude of the response. The effective surface area of Si NWAs is 100 × larger than that of suspended graphene for the same top surface area, leading to a larger response in amplitude by a factor of ~7 notwithstanding a higher trap density in suspended graphene. The use of Si NWAs increases the response rate for both Si NWAs as well as the suspended graphene due to more effective NH3 diffusion processes.

Key words: NH3 sensorsilicon nanowiresresistive sensorlow frequency noisegraphene

Abstract: Ammonia (NH3) is a toxic gas released in different industrial, agricultural and natural processes. It is also a biomarker for some diseases. These require NH3 sensors for health and safety reasons. To boost the sensitivity of solid-state sensors, the effective sensing area should be increased. Two methods are explored and compared using an evaporating pool of 0.5 mL NH4OH (28% NH3). In the first method an array of Si nanowires (Si NWA) is obtained via metal-assisted-electrochemical etching to increase the effective surface area. In the second method CVD graphene is suspended on top of the Si nanowires to act as a sensing layer. Both the effective surface area as well as the density of surface traps influences the amplitude of the response. The effective surface area of Si NWAs is 100 × larger than that of suspended graphene for the same top surface area, leading to a larger response in amplitude by a factor of ~7 notwithstanding a higher trap density in suspended graphene. The use of Si NWAs increases the response rate for both Si NWAs as well as the suspended graphene due to more effective NH3 diffusion processes.

Key words: NH3 sensorsilicon nanowiresresistive sensorlow frequency noisegraphene



References:

[1]

Timmer B, Olthuis W, van den Berg A . Ammonia sensors and their applications—a review. Sens Actuators B, 2005, 107(2): 666

[2]

IRC Ammonia sensor overview. Industrial regfrigeration consortium, Dec. 2 2002. On-line: https://www.irc.wisc.edu/file. php?ID=44

[3]

Brannelly N T, Hamilton-Shield J P, Killard A J. The measurement of ammonia in human breath and its potential in clinical diagnostics. Crit Rev Anal Chem, 2016, 46(6): 490

[4]

Lakkis S, Younes R, Alayli Y, et al. Review of recent trends in gas sensing technologies and their miniaturization potential. Sens Rev, 2014, 34(1): 24

[5]

Neri G. First fifty years of chemoresistive gas sensors. Chemosensors, 2015, 3: 1

[6]

Korotcenkov G, Brinzari V, Cho B K. Conductometric gas sensors based on metal oxides modified with gold nanoparticles: a review. Microchim Acta, 2016, 183: 1033

[7]

Smulko J M, Trawka M, Granqvist C G, et al. New approaches for improving selectivity and sensitivity of resistive gas sensors: a review. Sens Rev, 2015, 35(4): 340

[8]

Fobelets K, Meghani M, Li C. Influence of minority carrier gas donors on low frequency noise in silicon nanowires. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol, 2014, 13(6): 1176

[9]

Arafat M M, Dinan B, Akbar S A, et al. Gas sensors based on one dimensional nanostructured metal-oxides: a review. Sensors, 2012, 12: 7207

[10]

Fobelets K. Conductivity and 1/f noise in Si nanowire arrays. E-MRS Fall Meeting, Warsaw (Poland), 2015

[11]

Schmidt V, Wittemann J V, Gösele U. Growth, thermodynamics, and electrical properties of silicon nanowires. Chem Rev, 2010, 110: 361

[12]

Huang Z, Geyer N, Werner P, et al. Metal-assisted chemical etching of silicon: a review. Adv Mater, 2011, 23: 285

[13]

Li C, Fobelets K, Liu C, et al. Ag-assisted lateral etching of Si nanowires and its application to nanowire transfer. Appl Phys Lett, 2013, 103: 183102

[14]

Huang Z P, Fang H, Zhu J. Fabrication of silicon nanowire arrays with controlled diameter, length, and density. Adv Mater, 2007, 19(5): 744

[15]

Wang T, Huang D, Yang Z, et al. A review on graphene-based gas/vapor sensors with unique properties and potential applications. Nano-Micro Lett, 2016, 8(2): 95

[16]

Yavari F, Castillo E, Gullapalli H, et al. High sensitivity detection of NO2 and NH3 in air using chemical vapor deposition grown graphene. Appl Phys Lett, 2012, 100: 203120

[17]

Rumyantsev S, Liu G, Shur M S, et al. Selective gas sensing with a single pristine graphene transistor. Nano Lett, 2012, 12: 2294

[18]

C Li, K Fobelets, C Liu, et al. Ag-assisted lateral etching of Si nanowires and its application to nanowire transfer. Appl Phys Lett, 2013, 103(18): 183102

[19]

Panteli C, Sydoruk O, Fobelets K. Graphene suspended graphene on silicon nanowire arrays platform for enhanced gas sensing. ECS Meetings Abstracts, 2017: 769

[20]

To W K, Tsang C H, Li H H, et al. Fabrication of n-type mesoporous silicon nanowires by one-step etching. Nano Lett, 2011, 11(12): 5252

[21]

Goniszewski S, Gallop J, Adabi M, et al. Self-supporting graphene films and their applications. IET Circuits, Devices and Systems, 2015, 9(6): 420

[22]

Yi J, Lee J M, Park W I. Vertically aligned ZnO nanorods and graphene hybrid architectures for high-sensitive flexible gas sensors. Sens Actuat B, 2011, 155: 264

[23]

Ye Z, Zhang G, Li B, et al. Influence of airflow and liquid properties on the mass transfer coefficient of ammonia in aqueous solutions. Biosystems Eng, 2008, 100: 422

[24]

Stiver W, Mackay D. Evaporation rate of spills of hydrocarbons and petroleum mixtures. Environ Sci Technol, 1984, 18: 834

[25]

Li C, Fobelets K, Jalal S N S, et al. Influence of chemical modification on the electrical properties of Si nanowire arrays. Adv Mater Res, 2011, 160–162: 1331

[26]

Li C, E Krali, K Fobelets, et al. Conductance modulation of Si nanowire arrays. Appl Phys Lett, 2012, 101(22): 222101

[27]

Li C, Zhang C, Fobelets K, et al. Impact of ammonia on the electrical properties of p-type Si nanowire arrays. J Appl Phys, 2013, 114(17): 173702

[28]

Li C, Cheng B, Wang Q, et al. Conductance modulation of Si nanowire array. IUMRS-ICAM International Conference on Advanced Materials, 2013

[29]

Fobelets K, Ahmad M M, Rumyantsev S, et al. Influence of ambient on conductivity and 1/f noise in Si nanowire arrays. International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations, 2013

[30]

Fobelets K, Meghani M, Ahmad M M. Conductance and low frequency noise in Si nanowire arrays for gas sensing. 39th International Conference on Micro And Nano Engineering, 2013

[31]

Fobelets K, Meghan Mi, Li C. Influence of minority carrier gas donors on low frequency noise in silicon nanowires. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol, 2014, 13(6): 1176

[32]

Balandin A A. Low-frequency 1/f noise in graphene devices. Nat Nanotechnol, 2013, 8: 549

[1]

Timmer B, Olthuis W, van den Berg A . Ammonia sensors and their applications—a review. Sens Actuators B, 2005, 107(2): 666

[2]

IRC Ammonia sensor overview. Industrial regfrigeration consortium, Dec. 2 2002. On-line: https://www.irc.wisc.edu/file. php?ID=44

[3]

Brannelly N T, Hamilton-Shield J P, Killard A J. The measurement of ammonia in human breath and its potential in clinical diagnostics. Crit Rev Anal Chem, 2016, 46(6): 490

[4]

Lakkis S, Younes R, Alayli Y, et al. Review of recent trends in gas sensing technologies and their miniaturization potential. Sens Rev, 2014, 34(1): 24

[5]

Neri G. First fifty years of chemoresistive gas sensors. Chemosensors, 2015, 3: 1

[6]

Korotcenkov G, Brinzari V, Cho B K. Conductometric gas sensors based on metal oxides modified with gold nanoparticles: a review. Microchim Acta, 2016, 183: 1033

[7]

Smulko J M, Trawka M, Granqvist C G, et al. New approaches for improving selectivity and sensitivity of resistive gas sensors: a review. Sens Rev, 2015, 35(4): 340

[8]

Fobelets K, Meghani M, Li C. Influence of minority carrier gas donors on low frequency noise in silicon nanowires. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol, 2014, 13(6): 1176

[9]

Arafat M M, Dinan B, Akbar S A, et al. Gas sensors based on one dimensional nanostructured metal-oxides: a review. Sensors, 2012, 12: 7207

[10]

Fobelets K. Conductivity and 1/f noise in Si nanowire arrays. E-MRS Fall Meeting, Warsaw (Poland), 2015

[11]

Schmidt V, Wittemann J V, Gösele U. Growth, thermodynamics, and electrical properties of silicon nanowires. Chem Rev, 2010, 110: 361

[12]

Huang Z, Geyer N, Werner P, et al. Metal-assisted chemical etching of silicon: a review. Adv Mater, 2011, 23: 285

[13]

Li C, Fobelets K, Liu C, et al. Ag-assisted lateral etching of Si nanowires and its application to nanowire transfer. Appl Phys Lett, 2013, 103: 183102

[14]

Huang Z P, Fang H, Zhu J. Fabrication of silicon nanowire arrays with controlled diameter, length, and density. Adv Mater, 2007, 19(5): 744

[15]

Wang T, Huang D, Yang Z, et al. A review on graphene-based gas/vapor sensors with unique properties and potential applications. Nano-Micro Lett, 2016, 8(2): 95

[16]

Yavari F, Castillo E, Gullapalli H, et al. High sensitivity detection of NO2 and NH3 in air using chemical vapor deposition grown graphene. Appl Phys Lett, 2012, 100: 203120

[17]

Rumyantsev S, Liu G, Shur M S, et al. Selective gas sensing with a single pristine graphene transistor. Nano Lett, 2012, 12: 2294

[18]

C Li, K Fobelets, C Liu, et al. Ag-assisted lateral etching of Si nanowires and its application to nanowire transfer. Appl Phys Lett, 2013, 103(18): 183102

[19]

Panteli C, Sydoruk O, Fobelets K. Graphene suspended graphene on silicon nanowire arrays platform for enhanced gas sensing. ECS Meetings Abstracts, 2017: 769

[20]

To W K, Tsang C H, Li H H, et al. Fabrication of n-type mesoporous silicon nanowires by one-step etching. Nano Lett, 2011, 11(12): 5252

[21]

Goniszewski S, Gallop J, Adabi M, et al. Self-supporting graphene films and their applications. IET Circuits, Devices and Systems, 2015, 9(6): 420

[22]

Yi J, Lee J M, Park W I. Vertically aligned ZnO nanorods and graphene hybrid architectures for high-sensitive flexible gas sensors. Sens Actuat B, 2011, 155: 264

[23]

Ye Z, Zhang G, Li B, et al. Influence of airflow and liquid properties on the mass transfer coefficient of ammonia in aqueous solutions. Biosystems Eng, 2008, 100: 422

[24]

Stiver W, Mackay D. Evaporation rate of spills of hydrocarbons and petroleum mixtures. Environ Sci Technol, 1984, 18: 834

[25]

Li C, Fobelets K, Jalal S N S, et al. Influence of chemical modification on the electrical properties of Si nanowire arrays. Adv Mater Res, 2011, 160–162: 1331

[26]

Li C, E Krali, K Fobelets, et al. Conductance modulation of Si nanowire arrays. Appl Phys Lett, 2012, 101(22): 222101

[27]

Li C, Zhang C, Fobelets K, et al. Impact of ammonia on the electrical properties of p-type Si nanowire arrays. J Appl Phys, 2013, 114(17): 173702

[28]

Li C, Cheng B, Wang Q, et al. Conductance modulation of Si nanowire array. IUMRS-ICAM International Conference on Advanced Materials, 2013

[29]

Fobelets K, Ahmad M M, Rumyantsev S, et al. Influence of ambient on conductivity and 1/f noise in Si nanowire arrays. International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations, 2013

[30]

Fobelets K, Meghani M, Ahmad M M. Conductance and low frequency noise in Si nanowire arrays for gas sensing. 39th International Conference on Micro And Nano Engineering, 2013

[31]

Fobelets K, Meghan Mi, Li C. Influence of minority carrier gas donors on low frequency noise in silicon nanowires. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol, 2014, 13(6): 1176

[32]

Balandin A A. Low-frequency 1/f noise in graphene devices. Nat Nanotechnol, 2013, 8: 549

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K. Fobelets, C. Panteli, O. Sydoruk, C B Li. Ammonia sensing using arrays of silicon nanowires and graphene[J]. J. Semicond., 2018, 39(6): 063001. doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/39/6/063001.

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Manuscript received: 18 September 2017 Manuscript revised: 01 December 2017 Online: Uncorrected proof: 24 January 2018 Published: 01 June 2018

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