Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for Advanced Chemical Sensors

Professor Giorgio Sberveglieri
Department of Information Engineering
University of Brescia
Brescia, Italy

After the first demonstration, by G. Sberveglieri et al [1],  of the excellent properties of nanobelts as chemical sensors, plenty of literature was devoted to different experimental techniques that may lead to the formation of these quasi one-dimensional structures. At the beginning, the research was focusing on the VPD (vapour phase deposition ) that were producing, with a cheap oven, high quality nanostructures in terms of crystallinity and stoichiometry. In SENSOR Lab. other techniques have been for the synthesis using evaporation and condensation from powder in controlled environment using different experimental set up. Metal oxide nanowires were integrated in our lab in functional devices for chemical sensing and then tested towards a wide range of chemicals, Food Safety and Warfare Agents. The relative simplicity of preparing metal oxide in the form of single crystalline nanowire has prompted further research on this particular topic for integration into functional devices as chemical and gas sensors.  A major issue concerning the development of sensors is their reliable integration on the specific transducers, assuring stable electrical contacts over long-term operation. Combining experimental and simulations techniques in a multidisciplinary and complementary approach, will result in a maximization of the understanding and therefore in the preparation of high performing chemical sensing devices for diverse applications like food safety, security and environment monitoring.

[1] Comini E, Faglia G, Sberveglieri G, Pan ZW, Wang ZL, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 81 (10): 1869-1871 SEP 2 2002.

The work has been partially supported by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, either under the grant agreement n° 611887 “MSP: Multi Sensor Platform for Smart Building Management” or the grant agreement n° 313110  “SNOOPY:  Sniffer for concealed people discovery”.