Abstract

In this paper, a fiber optic sensing system, designed, and developed for the detection of ammonia in aqueous ambient at room temperature, is presented. The sensor is constituted by a standard silica optical fiber (SOF) coated by a tin dioxide sensitive layer. The SnO<sub>2</sub> films have been transferred onto the distal end of the SOF by means of the simple and low-cost electrostatic-spray-pyrolysis deposition technique. The spectral characterization of the fabricated samples has been carried out in the wavelength range 400–1750 nm in order to estimate the thickness of the SnO<sub>2</sub> fiber coatings. The morphology and the elemental composition of the deposited layers have also been investigated by means of scanning-electron-microscopy observation and energy-dispersive-spectrometer analysis, respectively. Single-wavelength reflectance measurements have been carried out to test the sensing performances of the realized sensors toward ammonia traces in water. A fiber-Bragg-grating temperature sensor has also been used for monitoring the temperature changes occurring inside the test ambient during the experimental measurements, in order to identify the effects of thermal drifts on the sensor response. The results here presented demonstrate that the developed refractometric chemical sensor is able to provide measurements of ammonia concentration in water and at room temperature with a high sensitivity, response times of few minutes, and a resolution as low as 2 ppm.

© 2006 IEEE

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  2. S. G. Sazhin, E. I. Soborover, S. V. Tokarev, "Sensor methods of ammonia inspection," Russ. J. Nondestruct. Test. 39, 791-806 (2003).
  3. B. Timmer, W. Olthuis, A. van den Berg, "Ammonia sensors and their applications—A review," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 107, 666-677 (2005).
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  5. O. Scarlat, S. Mihaiu, G. Aldica, J. Groza, M. Zaharescu, "Semiconducting densified $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$-ceramics by a novel sintering technique," J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 24, 1049-1052 (2004).
  6. H.-J. Michel, H. Leiste, J. Halbritter, "Structural and electrical characterization of PVD-deposited $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ films for gas-sensor application," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 25, 568-572 (1995).
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  8. E. H. A. Diagne, M. Lumbreras, "Elaboration and characterization of tin oxide-lanthanum oxide mixed layers prepared by electrostatic spray pyrolysis technique," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 78, 98-105 (2001).
  9. M. Pisco, M. Consales, R. Viter, V. Smyntyna, S. Campopiano, M. Giordano, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, "Novel $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ based optical sensor for detecting the low ammonia concentration in water at room temperatures," Int. Sci. J. Semicond. Phys., Quantum Electron. Optoelectron. 8, 95-99 (2005).
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  12. M. Penza, G. Cassano, P. Aversa, F. Antolini, A. Cusano, M. Consales, M. Giordano, L. Nicolais, "Carbon nanotubes coated multi-transducing sensors for VOCs detection," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 111/112, 171-180 (2005).
  13. H. Gourari, M. Lumbreras, R. Van Landschoot, J. Schoonman, "Electrode nature effects on stannic oxide type layers prepared by electrostatic spray deposition," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 58, 365-369 (1999).
  14. Y. Matsushima, Y. Nemoto, T. Yamazaki, "Fabrication of $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ particle-layer on the glass substrate using electrospray pyrolysis method and the gas sensitivity for $\hbox{H}_{2}$," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 96, 133-138 (2003).
  15. E. H. A. Diagne, M. Lumberas, "Elaboration and characterization of tin oxide-lanthanum oxide mixed layers prepared by the electrostatic spray pyrolysis technique," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 78, 98-105 (2001).
  16. Y. Higashiyama, S. Tanaka, T. Sugimoto, K. Asano, "Size distribution of the charged droplets in an axisymmetric shower," J. Electrost. 47, 183-195 (1999).
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  19. R. Ramamoorthy, M. K. Kennedy, H. Nienhaus, A. Lorke, F. E. Kruis, H. Fissan, "Surface oxidation of monodisperse $\hbox{SnO}_{\rm x}$ nanoparticles," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 88, 281-285 (2003).
  20. J. C. Manifacier, J. Gasiot, J. P. Fillard, "A simple method for the determination of the optical constants n, k and the thickness of a weakly absorbing thin film," J. Phys. E: Sci. Instrum. 9, 1002-1004 (1976).
  21. J. M. González-Leal, R. Prieto-Alcón, M. Stuchlik, M. Vlcek, S. R. Elliott, "Determination of the surface roughness and refractive index of amorphous As40S60 films deposited by spin coating," Opt. Mater. 27, 147-154 (2004).
  22. M. Losurdo, D. Barreca, P. Capezzuto, G. Bruno, E. Tondello, "Interrelation between nanostructure and optical properties of oxide thin films by spectroscopic ellipsometry," Surf. Coat. Technol. 151/152, 2-8 (2002).
  23. A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, M. Giordano, L. Nicolais, "Optoelectronic refractive index measurements: Application to smart processing," IEEE Sensors J. 3, 781-787 (2003).
  24. M. Consales, S. Campopiano, A. Cutolo, M. Penza, P. Aversa, G. Cassano, M. Giordano, A. Cusano, "Sensing properties of buffered and not buffered carbon nanotubes by fiber optic and acoustic sensors," Meas. Sci. Technol. 17, 1220-1228 (2006).
  25. A. Cusano, G. Breglio, M. Giordano, L. Nicolais, A. Cutolo, "Multifunction fiber optic sensing system for smart applications," IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron. 9, 40-49 (2004).
  26. M. Pisco, M. Consales, S. D'addio, R. Viter, V. Smyntyna, S. Campopiano, M. Giordano, A. Cusano, "Simultaneous temperature and ammonia detection in water by tin-dioxide optoelectronic sensor," Proc. IEEE Sensors (2005) pp. 881.
  27. E. Elangovan, K. Ramamurthi, "Optoelectronic properties of spray deposited $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$: $F$ thin films for window materials in solar cells," J. Optoelectron. Adv. Mater. 5, 45-54 (2003).
  28. W. K. Choi, J. S. Cho, S. K. Song, H.-J. Jung, S. K. Koh, K. H. Yoon, C. M. Lee, M. C. Sung, K. Jeong, "The characterization of undoped SnOx thin film grown by reactive ion-assisted deposition," Thin Solid Films 304, 85-97 (1997).
  29. H. Haitjema, "Relations between the optical, electrical and structural properties of Fluorine-doped tin dioxide coatings," Proc. SPIE—Opt. Mater. Technol. for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Convers. IX (1990) pp. 26-37.
  30. T. Kawabe, K. Tabata, E. Suzuki, Y. Nagasawa, "Methanol adsorption on $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ thin films with different morphologies," Surf. Sci. 482–485, 1183-188 (2001).
  31. M. Batzill, U. Diebold, "The surface and materials science of tin oxide," Prog. Surf. Sci. 79, 47-154 (2005).
  32. G. Pennazza, A. Macagnano, E. Martinelli, R. Paolesse, C. Di Natale, A. D'Amico, Sensors and Microsystems (World Scientific, 2003) pp. 318.
  33. D.-S. Lee, J.-K. Jung, J.-W. Lim, J.-S. Huh, D.-D. Lee, "Recognition of volatile organic compounds using $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ sensor array and pattern recognition analysis," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 77, 228-236 (2001).
  34. M. Penza, G. Cassano, "Application of principal component analysis and artificial neural networks to recognize the individual VOCs of methanol/2-propanol in a binary mixture by SAW multi-sensor array," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 89, 269-284 (2003).
  35. V. A. Chaudhary, I. S. Mulla, K. Vijayamohanan, "Selective hydrogen sensing properties of surface functionalized tin oxide," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 55, 154-160 (1999).

Aquat. Toxicol. (1)

B. J. Wicks, R. Joensen, Q. Tang, D. J. Randall, "Swimming and ammonia toxicity in salmonids: The effect of sub lethal ammonia exposure on the swimming performance of coho salmon and the acute toxicity of ammonia in swimming and resting rainbow trout," Aquat. Toxicol. 59, 55-69 (2002).

Ceram. Int. (1)

P. S. Patil, R. K. Kawar, T. Seth, D. P. Amalnerkar, P. S. Chigare, "Effect of substrate temperature on structural, electrical and optical properties of sprayed tin dioxide $(\hbox{SnO}_{2})$ thin films," Ceram. Int. 20, 725-734 (2003).

IEEE Sensors J. (1)

A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, M. Giordano, L. Nicolais, "Optoelectronic refractive index measurements: Application to smart processing," IEEE Sensors J. 3, 781-787 (2003).

IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron. (1)

A. Cusano, G. Breglio, M. Giordano, L. Nicolais, A. Cutolo, "Multifunction fiber optic sensing system for smart applications," IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron. 9, 40-49 (2004).

Int. Sci. J. Semicond. Phys., Quantum Electron. Optoelectron. (1)

M. Pisco, M. Consales, R. Viter, V. Smyntyna, S. Campopiano, M. Giordano, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, "Novel $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ based optical sensor for detecting the low ammonia concentration in water at room temperatures," Int. Sci. J. Semicond. Phys., Quantum Electron. Optoelectron. 8, 95-99 (2005).

J. Electrost. (1)

Y. Higashiyama, S. Tanaka, T. Sugimoto, K. Asano, "Size distribution of the charged droplets in an axisymmetric shower," J. Electrost. 47, 183-195 (1999).

J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. (1)

O. Scarlat, S. Mihaiu, G. Aldica, J. Groza, M. Zaharescu, "Semiconducting densified $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$-ceramics by a novel sintering technique," J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 24, 1049-1052 (2004).

J. Mater. Sci., Mater. Electron. (1)

S. G. Ansary, S. W. Gosavi, S. A. Gangal, R. N. Karekar, R. C. Aiyer, "Characterization of $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$-based $\hbox{H}_{2}$ gas sensors fabricated by different deposition techniques," J. Mater. Sci., Mater. Electron. 8, 23-27 (1997).

J. Optoelectron. Adv. Mater. (1)

E. Elangovan, K. Ramamurthi, "Optoelectronic properties of spray deposited $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$: $F$ thin films for window materials in solar cells," J. Optoelectron. Adv. Mater. 5, 45-54 (2003).

J. Phys. E: Sci. Instrum. (1)

J. C. Manifacier, J. Gasiot, J. P. Fillard, "A simple method for the determination of the optical constants n, k and the thickness of a weakly absorbing thin film," J. Phys. E: Sci. Instrum. 9, 1002-1004 (1976).

Mater. Sci. Eng., B (1)

P. Gorley, V. Khomyak, S. Bilichuk, I. Orletsky, P. Horley, V. Grechko, "$\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ films: Formation, electrical and optical properties," Mater. Sci. Eng., B 118, 160-163 (2005).

Meas. Sci. Technol. (1)

M. Consales, S. Campopiano, A. Cutolo, M. Penza, P. Aversa, G. Cassano, M. Giordano, A. Cusano, "Sensing properties of buffered and not buffered carbon nanotubes by fiber optic and acoustic sensors," Meas. Sci. Technol. 17, 1220-1228 (2006).

Opt. Mater. (1)

J. M. González-Leal, R. Prieto-Alcón, M. Stuchlik, M. Vlcek, S. R. Elliott, "Determination of the surface roughness and refractive index of amorphous As40S60 films deposited by spin coating," Opt. Mater. 27, 147-154 (2004).

Prog. Surf. Sci. (1)

M. Batzill, U. Diebold, "The surface and materials science of tin oxide," Prog. Surf. Sci. 79, 47-154 (2005).

Russ. J. Nondestruct. Test. (1)

S. G. Sazhin, E. I. Soborover, S. V. Tokarev, "Sensor methods of ammonia inspection," Russ. J. Nondestruct. Test. 39, 791-806 (2003).

Sens. Actuators B, Chem. (11)

B. Timmer, W. Olthuis, A. van den Berg, "Ammonia sensors and their applications—A review," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 107, 666-677 (2005).

H.-J. Michel, H. Leiste, J. Halbritter, "Structural and electrical characterization of PVD-deposited $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ films for gas-sensor application," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 25, 568-572 (1995).

E. H. A. Diagne, M. Lumbreras, "Elaboration and characterization of tin oxide-lanthanum oxide mixed layers prepared by electrostatic spray pyrolysis technique," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 78, 98-105 (2001).

M. Penza, G. Cassano, P. Aversa, F. Antolini, A. Cusano, M. Consales, M. Giordano, L. Nicolais, "Carbon nanotubes coated multi-transducing sensors for VOCs detection," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 111/112, 171-180 (2005).

H. Gourari, M. Lumbreras, R. Van Landschoot, J. Schoonman, "Electrode nature effects on stannic oxide type layers prepared by electrostatic spray deposition," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 58, 365-369 (1999).

Y. Matsushima, Y. Nemoto, T. Yamazaki, "Fabrication of $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ particle-layer on the glass substrate using electrospray pyrolysis method and the gas sensitivity for $\hbox{H}_{2}$," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 96, 133-138 (2003).

E. H. A. Diagne, M. Lumberas, "Elaboration and characterization of tin oxide-lanthanum oxide mixed layers prepared by the electrostatic spray pyrolysis technique," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 78, 98-105 (2001).

R. Ramamoorthy, M. K. Kennedy, H. Nienhaus, A. Lorke, F. E. Kruis, H. Fissan, "Surface oxidation of monodisperse $\hbox{SnO}_{\rm x}$ nanoparticles," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 88, 281-285 (2003).

D.-S. Lee, J.-K. Jung, J.-W. Lim, J.-S. Huh, D.-D. Lee, "Recognition of volatile organic compounds using $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ sensor array and pattern recognition analysis," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 77, 228-236 (2001).

M. Penza, G. Cassano, "Application of principal component analysis and artificial neural networks to recognize the individual VOCs of methanol/2-propanol in a binary mixture by SAW multi-sensor array," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 89, 269-284 (2003).

V. A. Chaudhary, I. S. Mulla, K. Vijayamohanan, "Selective hydrogen sensing properties of surface functionalized tin oxide," Sens. Actuators B, Chem. 55, 154-160 (1999).

Surf. Coat. Technol. (2)

M. Losurdo, D. Barreca, P. Capezzuto, G. Bruno, E. Tondello, "Interrelation between nanostructure and optical properties of oxide thin films by spectroscopic ellipsometry," Surf. Coat. Technol. 151/152, 2-8 (2002).

Y. Matsui, M. Mitsuhashi, Y. Goto, "Early stage of tin oxide film growth in chemical vapor deposition," Surf. Coat. Technol. 169, 549-552 (2003).

Surf. Sci. (1)

T. Kawabe, K. Tabata, E. Suzuki, Y. Nagasawa, "Methanol adsorption on $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ thin films with different morphologies," Surf. Sci. 482–485, 1183-188 (2001).

Thin Solid Films (2)

W. K. Choi, J. S. Cho, S. K. Song, H.-J. Jung, S. K. Koh, K. H. Yoon, C. M. Lee, M. C. Sung, K. Jeong, "The characterization of undoped SnOx thin film grown by reactive ion-assisted deposition," Thin Solid Films 304, 85-97 (1997).

D. Davazoglou, "Optical properties of $\hbox{SnO}_{2}$ thin films grown by atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition oxidizing $\hbox{SnCl}_{4}$," Thin Solid Films 302, 204-213 (1997).

Other (4)

H. A. Macleod, Thin-Film Optical Filters (Inst. Phys., 2001).

H. Haitjema, "Relations between the optical, electrical and structural properties of Fluorine-doped tin dioxide coatings," Proc. SPIE—Opt. Mater. Technol. for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Convers. IX (1990) pp. 26-37.

M. Pisco, M. Consales, S. D'addio, R. Viter, V. Smyntyna, S. Campopiano, M. Giordano, A. Cusano, "Simultaneous temperature and ammonia detection in water by tin-dioxide optoelectronic sensor," Proc. IEEE Sensors (2005) pp. 881.

G. Pennazza, A. Macagnano, E. Martinelli, R. Paolesse, C. Di Natale, A. D'Amico, Sensors and Microsystems (World Scientific, 2003) pp. 318.

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