Highly sensitive SnO2 sensor via reactive laser-induced transfer
Gas sensors based on tin oxide (SnO2) and palladium doped SnO2 (Pd:SnO2) active materials are fabricated by a laser printing method, i.e. reactive laser-induced forward transfer (rLIFT). Thin films from tin based metal-complex precursors are prepared by spin coating and then laser transferred with high resolution onto sensor structures. The devices fabricated by rLIFT exhibit low ppm sensitivity towards ethanol and methane as well as good stability with respect to air, moisture, and time. Promising results are obtained by applying rLIFT to transfer metal-complex precursors onto uncoated commercial gas sensors. We could show that rLIFT onto commercial sensors is possible if the sensor structures are reinforced prior to printing. The rLIFT fabricated sensors show up to 4 times higher sensitivities then the commercial sensors (with inkjet printed SnO2). In addition, the selectivity towards CH4 of the Pd:SnO2 sensors is significantly enhanced compared to the pure SnO2 sensors. Our results indicate that the reactive laser transfer technique applied here represents an important technical step for the realization of improved gas detection systems with wide-ranging applications in environmental and health monitoring control.