High-yield, in-situ fabrication and integration of horizontal carbon nanotube arrays at the wafer scale for robust ammonia sensors
This paper reports the successful experimental demonstration of the localized growth of horizontal, dense carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays in situ and at the wafer scale. The selectivity and directionality of the CNT catalytic growth process along with the adequate design and fabrication of the catalyst support enables the direct integration of nanotubes arrays into heterogeneous devices. This novel CNT integration method is developed to manufacture conductance based gas sensors for ammonia detection and is demonstrated to produce a yield above 90% at the wafer scale. Owing to its flexibility, the integration process can be useful for a wide range of applications and complies with industrial requirements in terms of manufacturability and yield, requirements for the acceptance of CNTs as alternate materials. A state-of-the-art CNT array resistivity of 1.75 x 10(-5) m has been found from the CNT characterization. When exposed to low NH3 concentrations, the CNT sensors show good repeatability, long-term stability, and high design robustness and tackle the reproducibility challenge for CNT devices. Individual device calibration is not needed. The ammonia adsorption isotherm on the sensor is well fitted by Freundlich equation. The extrapolated detection limit is about 1 ppm. The dependence of the sensitivity with temperature indicates that ammonia sensing is likely to involve an endothermic process. Finally, relative humidity cross sensitivity has been found to have no adverse effect on the ammonia response enabling NH3 monitoring in ambient conditions. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.