UIC-2015-137 – Black Phosphorus Thin Films and Composites for Humidity Detection Applications

UIC researchers have developed a nanomaterial-based humidity sensor, made from black phosphorus nanoflakes (BP NFs), which shows a higher sensitivity and selectivity for water than other nanomaterial-based sensors reported in literature. The fabrication process of the BP NFs sensors is simple, low-cost, scalable, versatile, and quick. Using liquid exfoliation, UIC researchers can produce high-quality BP NFs while controlling concentration and flake thickness, which allows the NFs to not only exhibit excellent sensitivity and selectivity for humidity sensing, but with quick recovery characteristics. Sensors respond to moisture content but are insensitive to chemical analytes like alcohols, ketones, and benzenes, protecting against a common flaw in humidity detection applications–the pick up of non-water vapor compounds. Furthermore, thin films of BP NFs remain highly stable for several years in ambient conditions with a negligible drift in their sensing characteristics. This contrasts with the instability of current thin layer moisture sensors. Lifetime analysis and drift tests shows great promise for deployment of these BP films for device applications such as semiconductor manufacturing, medical applications, and agriculture. Mark Krivchenia krivchen@otm.uic.edu (312) 996-6626

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