Preparation and gas-sensing properties of very thin sputtered NiO films

We present results on very thin NiO films which are able to detect 3 ppm of acetone, toluene and n-butyl acetate in synthetic air and to operate at 300°C. NiO films with 25 and 50 nm thicknesses were prepared by dc reactive magnetron sputtering on alumina substrates previously coated by Pt layers as heater and as interdigitated electrodes. Annealed NiO films are indexed to the (fcc) crystalline structure of NiO and their calculated grain sizes are in the range from 22 to 27 nm. Surface morphology of the examined samples was influenced by a rough and compact granular structure of alumina substrate. Nanoporous NiO film is formed by an agglomeration of small grains with different shapes while they are created on every alumina grain.

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