Preparation and characterization of ceramic sensors for use at elevated temperatures

Tao You, University of Rhode Island


Ceramic ITO strain sensors were prepared by reactive sputtering in various nitrogen/oxygen/argon partial pressures. The thickness of the active ITO strain elements played a significant role in the high temperature stability and piezoresistive properties, specifically, these results indicated that both gauge factor and drift rate were affected by the thickness of ITO films comprising the active strain elements. The influence of nitrogen in the reactive sputtered ITO films on the microstructure and the high temperature piezoresistive properties was also investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a partially sintered microstructure consisting of a contiguous network of sub-micron ITO particles with well-defined necks and isolated nanoporosity. Sintering and densification of the ITO particles containing these nitrogen rich grain boundaries was retarded and a contiguous network of nano-sized ITO particles was established. Aluminum doped indium tin oxide thin film exhibited an enhanced high temperature stability compared with undoped ITO thin film. The effect of aluminum doped ITO was investigated under various preparation and testing environments. Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) studies indicated that interfacial reactions between ITO and aluminum increased the stability of ITO at elevated temperatures. These binding energies of indium-indium are significantly higher than those associated with stoichiometric indium oxide. ^ A robust ceramic temperature sensor was fabricated by two different ITO elements, each with substantially different charge carrier concentrations. Thermal cycling of ITO thin films in a varied of partial oxygen pressures conditions showed that temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) was nearly independent of oxygen partial pressure. A thermoelectric power of 6.0μV/°C and a linear voltage-temperature response were measured for an ITO thin film ceramic thermocouple over the temperature range 25–1250°C. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Chemical|Engineering, Materials Science

Recommended Citation

Tao You, "Preparation and characterization of ceramic sensors for use at elevated temperatures" (2004). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3186928.