Electrical Breakdown Gas Detector Featuring Carbon Nanotube Array Electrodes

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We demonstrate here detection of dichloro-difluoro-methane and oxygen in mixtures with helium using a carbon nanotube electrical breakdown sensor device. The sensor is comprised of an aligned array of multiwalled carbon nanotubes deposited on a nickel based super-alloy (Inconel 600) as the anode; the counter electrode is a planar nickel sheet. By monitoring the electrical breakdown characteristics of oxygen and dichloro-difluoro-methane in a background of helium, we find that the detection limit for dichloro-difluoro-methane is ∼0.1% and the corresponding limit for oxygen is ∼1%. A phenomenologigal model is proposed to describe the trends observed in detection of the two mixtures. These results indicate that carbon nanotube based electrical breakdown sensors show potential as end detectors in gas-chromatography devices.


Document Type: Short Communication

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2008.187

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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