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Improving the signal resolution of semiconductor gas sensors to high-concentration gases

  • Zhou, Xinyuan
  • Yang, Liping
  • Bian, Yuzhi
  • Wang, Ying
  • Han, Ning
  • Chen, Yunfa
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Institutional Repository of Institute of Process Engineering, CAS (IPE-IR)
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Detecting high-concentration gases is challenging by metal oxide semiconductor (MOX) gas sensors, because the voltage signal would become saturated. In order to solve this problem, the zooming p + n field-effect transistors (FETs) circuit has been designed, combining an n-type enhancement-mode FET (EMFET) and a p-type depletion-mode FET (DMFET). This designed zooming p + n FETs can endow MOX gas sensors with the high signal resolution of similar to 3.0 V/decade to the 100-2000 ppm (part per million) acetone gas, triple that of MOX gas sensors without FETs (similar to 0.8 V/decade). Meanwhile, this zooming technology is also suitable for detecting other gases at high-concentration, such as 1%-20% LEL (lower explosion limit) methane. The principle of zooming p + n FETs is that with increasing the gas concentration, the suppressing role of the EMFET is firstly induced leading to a reduced signal resolution to the low-concentration target gas; then its suppressing effect becomes saturated and the DMFET starts to switch from ON state to OFF state in the high-concentration target gas, resulting in an amplifying effect herein and thus an enhanced signal resolution. This circuit is promising for the high-concentration gas detection as well as for the multi-functional gas detector design.

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