Europhys. Lett.
Volume 76, Number 4, November 2006
Page(s) 575 - 581
Section General
Published online 18 October 2006
Europhys. Lett., 76 (4), pp. 575-581 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10303-6

Point-contact sensors: New prospects for a nanoscale-sensitive technique

G. V. Kamarchuk1, A. P. Pospelov2, A. V. Yeremenko1, E. C. Faulques3 and I. K. Yanson1

1  B. Verkin Institute for Low Temperature Physics & Engineering of NAS of Ukraine - 47 Lenin Ave., Kharkov, 61103 Ukraine
2  National Technical University "Kharkov Polytechnical Institute" 21 Frunze Str., Kharkov, 61002, Ukraine
3  Institute des Materiaux Jean Rouxel - 2 rue de la Houssinière F-44322, Nantes, France

received 7 June 2006; accepted in final form 18 September 2006
published online 18 October 2006

Point contacts have been discovered to present excellent and unprecedented characteristics when used as gas sensors. A novel concept has been tested successfully and opens the way to useful applications. Copper point contacts were investigated in gas media such as NOx, HCl, H2S and human breath. They reveal high sensitivity to these gases: the measured signal increases by 2-3 orders of magnitude upon gas exposure. Sensor parameters are fully restored when gas action ceases. Stable reproducibility of experimental results was observed after several exposure cycles onto the investigated point contacts.

07.07.Df - Sensors (chemical, optical, electrical, movement, gas, etc.).
85.30.Hi - Surface barrier, boundary and point contact devices.
84.37.+q - Measurements in electric variables (including voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, inductance, impedance and admittance, etc.).

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