We report on a novel method for the fabrication of highly sensitive hydrogen gas sensors based on palladium oxide thin films and have investigated their hydrogen sensing properties and nanostructures. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of palladium oxide and reduced palladium thin films as hydrogen sensors. The palladium oxide thin films were deposited on thermally oxidized Si substrates using a reactive direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering system. Considerable changes in the resistance of the palladium oxide thin films were observed when they were initially exposed to hydrogen gas, as a result of the reduction process. After the initial exposure to hydrogen gas of PdO30%, its sensitivity increased up to ∼ 4.5 × 10 3%. The morphology of the PdO surface was analyzed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), in order to investigate the interactions between palladium oxide and hydrogen. The SEM images showed a large number of nano-sized cracks on the surface of the palladium oxide during the reduction process, which acted to increase the effective surface-to-volume ratio. The response behaviors of the reduced Pd films to hydrogen gas were reversible and had an enhanced sensing property when compared with those of the pure Pd films. In addition, their sensitivities and response times were improved due to the nano-sized cracks on the surfaces. The results demonstrate that palladium oxide and reduced palladium thin films can be applied for use in highly sensitive hydrogen sensors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering