New InxOyNz films for the application in NO2 sensors

H. Steffes, C. Imawan, P. Fricke, H. Vöhse, J. Albrecht, R. Schneider, F. Solzbacher, E. Obermeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


New gas-sensitive films of InxOyNz have been fabricated by reactive rf-magnetron sputtering using an In2O3 target and an Ar/N2 process atmosphere (0-65% N2). The layers have been annealed for 10h at 600°C in synthetic air. Structural analysis (XRD, TEM, SEM, AES) shows that oxygen atoms are substituted by nitrogen atoms in the In2O3 lattice. An average nitrogen content of 1.9 at.% has been found by AES. Compared to pure In2O3 films, the InxOyNz films show a completely changed morphology and microstructure with very small grains of 10-30nm arranged in a porous layer. The gas-sensitive behavior is enhanced significantly. The sensitivity towards various gases is increased and the response time τ50 is reduced with increasing N2 content in the sputtering atmosphere. The InxOyNz layers sputtered using 65% N2 exhibit the best gas-sensing properties. They show a very high NO2 sensitivity of 38.7 ppm-1 and a reduced response time of 5.9 min at 200°C where the pure In2O3 films are insensitive. At 400°C, the NO2 sensitivity increases from 0.374 to 0.6 ppm-1 and τ50 is reduced from 10.5 to 2.8 min. The response time at 450°C is 1.2 min. A unique reversible dynamic behavior is found. The cross-sensitivity towards NH3, CO, SO2, H2, and CH4 is small. The InxOyNz films have a high potential to be applied as new material for low-temperature conductivity NO2 sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2001


  • Gas sensor
  • InO
  • InON thin films
  • Indium oxynitride
  • NO sensor


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