Design of an AC Conductivity Measurement Setup for Sensor Materials Characterization

Design of an AC Conductivity Measurement Setup for Sensor Materials Characterization

Nisha Rajappan (Department of Instrumentation, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, India) and K.N. Madhusoodanan (Department of Instrumentation, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJMTIE.2014040101

Abstract

AC conductivity measurement can be an effective method for the study of sensor material characteristics for gas sensing. The authors have designed and fabricated a sensitive set up for sensor material characterization using ac conductivity measurement. The set up fabricated is employed for bulk samples. AC conductivity cell with cold fingertip that can facilitate measurement in the range 80 K to 500 K has been fabricated. The necessary vacuum lines and gas feed throughs are provided in order to study the gas sensing characteristics of semiconductor gas sensor materials. A programmable PID temperature controller and the necessary signal conditioning circuits are designed and incorporated into the system. AC conductivity measurement is carried out using Fluke PM 6306 impedance analyzer.
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1. Introduction

Studies of the electronic nature of amorphous material gives information about its electrical behavior and this may be related to structural properties (Elliott, 1987Long, 1982). The disorder in atomic configuration is responsible for the existence of localized electronic states within the material. AC electrical conductivity exposes much information as regards the usefulness of these materials for various applications as well as on the role of localized states (Sreeram et al., 1991 Fu and Chen, 2003 Rahman & Mahanta, 1979Pike, 1972). The study of ac electrical conductivity sheds light on the behavior of charge carriers under ac field, their mobility and mechanism of conduction (Koops, 1951Brockman & White, 1971Jankowski, 1988Pal et al., 1994Mirtaheri et al., 1990). In this paper we report the design considerations and fabrication of a sensitive set up for the measurement of ac conductivity that can be employed for bulk samples. The calibration of the ac conductivity cell (dielectric cell) has been done by taking measurement on samples of known dielectric constant. Here we have used mica sheets to caliberate the cell.

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