Keynote Metal oxides Nanotechnology for chemical sensors

  • G. Sberveglieri University of Brescia & CNR-INO


After the first method proposed for the preparation of metal oxide in forms of nanobelts, plenty of literature was devoted to differentexperimental techniques that may lead to the formation of these quasi one-dimensional structures. At the beginning, theresearch was focusing on the vapour phase methods that were producing, with cheap instrumentation, high quality nanostructures interms of crystallinity and stoichiometry. We have thoroughly studied the synthesis using evaporation and condensation from powderin controlled environment using different experimental set up. Metal oxide nanowires were integrated in our lab in functional devicesfor chemical sensing and then tested towards a wide range of chemicals, including odorous molecules and Warfare Agents.The ability to prepare metal oxide in form of single crystalline nanowire has pushed further the research on this topic especiallyfor the integration in functional devices such as chemical and gas sensors. There is still a lot of work going on regarding the preparationof oxides, like controlling their morphology and position at the nanoscale level. A big issue concerning the development of sensors istheir reliable integration on the specific transducers, assuring stable electrical contacts over long-term operation. The ability to preparestable single crystal quasi one-dimensional metal oxide nanostructures is having an impact on different aspects of science and technology.In particular, their integration in gas sensing devices lead to a significant improvement in stability providing stable and reliableelectrical contacts. Furthermore, the possible miniaturization of these devices may produce a strong decrease in power consumption,the use of self heating devices allow the sensing even without the presence of a heater on the transducers.Combining experimental and simulations techniques in a multidisciplinary and complementary approach, will result in a maximizationof the understanding and therefore in the preparation of reliable chemical sensing devices for diverse applications like foodsafety, security and environment monitoring