The dependence of a sensor’s response to hydrogen on the temperature and hydrogen pressure in an indium oxide nanostructured film is measured. A theory of sensor’s response to reducing gases in nanostructured semiconducting oxides with high concentrations of electrons in the conduction band is developed (using the example of In2O3). It is shown that the capture of conduction electrons by adsorbed oxygen redistributes the electrons in nanoparticles and reduces the surface electron density and the conductivity of a system; the conductivity is proportional to the electron density in nanoparticle contacts, i.e., to the surface electron density. It is found that atomic oxygen ions react with reducing gases (H2, CO) during adsorption of the latter: electrons are released and enter the volumes of nanoparticles; the conductivity of the system grows, creating the sensory effect. Using a model developed earlier to describe the distribution of conduction electrons in a semiconductor nanoparticle, a kinetic scheme corresponding to the above scenario is built and corresponding equations are solved. As a result, a theoretical dependence of a sensor’s sensitivity to temperature is found that describes the experimental data well.
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- conduction electrons
- oxide films
- semiconductor nanoparticles
- sensory properties