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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7652450, 12 pages
Research Article

Temperature Optimized Ammonia and Ethanol Sensing Using Ce Doped Tin Oxide Thin Films in a Novel Flow Metric Gas Sensing Chamber

1School of Electronics Engineering, VIT University, Vellore 632014, India
2Centre for Nanotechnology Research, VIT University, Vellore 632014, India

Received 22 January 2016; Accepted 19 April 2016

Academic Editor: Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh

Copyright © 2016 K. Govardhan and Andrews Nirmala Grace. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A simple process of gas sensing is represented here using Ce doped tin oxide nanomaterial based thin film sensor. A novel flow metric gas chamber has been designed and utilized for gas sensing. Doping plays a vital role in enhancing the sensing properties of nanomaterials. Ce doped tin oxide was prepared by hydrothermal method and the same has been used to fabricate a thin film for sensing. The microstructure and morphology of the prepared materials were analysed by SEM, XRD, and FTIR analysis. The SEM images clearly show that doping can clamp down the growth of the large crystallites and can lead to large agglomeration spheres. Thin film gas sensors were formed from undoped pure SnO2 and Ce doped SnO2. The sensors were exposed to ammonia and ethanol gases. The responses of the sensors to different concentrations (50–500 ppm) of ammonia and ethanol at different operating temperatures (225°C–500°C) were studied. Results show that a good sensitivity towards ammonia was obtained with Ce doped SnO2 thin film sensor at an optimal operating temperature of 325°C. The Ce doped sensor also showed good selectivity towards ammonia when compared with ethanol. Pure SnO2 showed good sensitivity with ethanol when compared with Ce doped SnO2 thin film sensor. Response time of the sensor and its stability were also studied.