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Detection of acetone vapours using solution-processed tin oxide thin-film transistors

Miller, Lauren R. and Borthwick, Robert J. and dos Santos, Paloma L. and Chaudhry, Mujeeb U. (2023) 'Detection of acetone vapours using solution-processed tin oxide thin-film transistors.', MRS Advances .


Abnormal concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human breathe can be used as disease-specific biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of medical conditions, such as acetone for diabetes. Solution-processed bottom gate top contact metal oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs) are used to detect acetone vapours, as part of a proof-of-concept study. The effect of increasing annealing temperature (T) and channel length (L) on electrical and sensing performance are explored. Drain current (Ids) increases following exposure as acetone undergoes a redox reaction with the adsorbed oxygen species on the semiconductor surface, which results in free electrons being released back into the conduction band. Responsivity (R) is maximized at negative bias (Vgs < 0). For L = 50 μm, the peak R of the TFT annealed at 450 °C is three times greater than that of the TFT annealed at 350 °C, with Vgs = − 37.5 V and − 33 V, respectively.

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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date accepted:04 January 2023
Date deposited:08 February 2023
Date of first online publication:13 January 2023
Date first made open access:08 February 2023

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