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Rare earth doped metal oxide sensor for the multimodal detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Fois, Matteo; Cox, Timothy; Ratcliffe, Norman; de Lacy Costello, Ben


Matteo Fois


Heated metal oxide sensors have been widely studied for their ability to give a reversible change in the electrical resistance following the interaction with a volatile compound. Another feature is their inherent cataluminescence (CTL) properties when these materials interact with specific volatiles. This study reports for the first time a zirconium oxide nanomaterial doped with a rare earth metal which gives combined resistance and cataluminescence responses, providing enhanced sensitivity and selectivity of detection via a multimodal response in a single sensor. The europium-doped zirconium oxide, ZrO2:Eu3+ was studied and compared with the undoped zirconium oxide, ZrO2, and tungsten oxide, WO3. Materials were characterised structurally and tested with a series of volatiles. Both the cataluminescence light emission and the resistance response were recorded at different temperatures (starting from 180 °C up to 400 °C) and then combined to achieve the dual modality response. Europium-doped zirconium oxide gave a better sensitivity in terms of cataluminescence response than the undoped zirconium oxide sensor; dual modality sensing is demonstrated for ethanol and acetone which give cataluminescence and resistance responses on both the undoped and europium doped zirconia.


Fois, M., Cox, T., Ratcliffe, N., & de Lacy Costello, B. (2021). Rare earth doped metal oxide sensor for the multimodal detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 330,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 1, 2020
Publication Date Mar 1, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 2, 2021
Journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Print ISSN 0925-4005
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 330
Article Number 129264
Keywords Instrumentation; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Materials Chemistry; Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials; Surfaces, Coatings and Films; Condensed Matter Physics; Metals and Alloys; Gas sensing; Multimodal; Cataluminescence; Rare-earth ions;
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