Role of the Material Electrodes on Resistive Behaviour of Carbon Nanotube-Based Gas Sensors for H 2 S Detection

Miniaturized gas-sensing devices that use single-walled carbon nanotubes as active material have been fabricated using two different electrode materials, namely, Au/Cr and NbN. The resistive sensors have been assembled aligning by dielectrophoresis the nanotube bundles between 40 μm spaced Au/Cr or NbN multifinger electrodes. The sensing devices have been tested for detection of the H2S gas, in the concentration range 10–100 ppm, using N2 as carrier gas. No resistance changes were detected using sensor fabricated with NbN electrodes, whereas the response of the sensor fabricated with Au/Cr electrodes was characterized by an increase of the resistance upon gas exposure. The main performances of this sensor are a detection limit for H2S of 10 ppm and a recovery time of few minutes. The present study suggests that the mechanism involved in H2S gas detection is not a direct charge transfer between molecules and nanotubes. The hypothesis is that detection occurs through passivation of the Au surfaces by H2S molecules and modification of the contact resistance at the Au/nanotube interface. [Read More]