Multiparametric Chemical Sensor Based on Nanocrystalline Silicon Waveguide

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New measurement protocol based on waveguide spectroscopy in the Kretschmann configuration combined with monitoring of light scattering from thin films has been developed for gas sensor applications. The performance of the approach was successfully demonstrated for study the interaction of ethanol, acetone and water molecules with nanocomposite silicon nanocrystalline film (nc-Si) as indicative examples. It was shown that simultaneous measurements of guided optical wave scattering and reflection coefficients give comprehensive information for recognition of gas molecules adsorbed by nc-Si film. The sensing process is completely reversible and can be attribute to the adlayer formation (water), pore walls adsorption (acetone) and capillary condensation of the vapor into the pores (ethanol). Possible mechanisms of the processes are discussed.
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