The teaching of the different aspects of a sensor system, with a focus on the involved
nanotechnology, is a challenging, yet important task. We present the development of an electronic
nose system that utilizes a nanoscale amperometric sensing mechanism for gas mixtures. The
fabrication of the system makes use of a basic microfabrication facility, as well as an
undergraduate chemistry laboratory for material synthesis and preparation. The sensing device
consists of an array of cross-reactive sensors composed of metal-oxide semiconducting nanoparticles.
Each sensor in the array produces a unique response in the presence of a target gas, allowing the
sensor to determine the identity and concentration of multiple gases in a mixture. The educational
aspects include microheater simulation and fabrication, design and fabrication of interdigitated
electrodes, development of interfacing circuitry and software, development and calibration of a
sensory array, sol–gel processing of nanoparticle films and their characterization, and details of
the fundamental chemical sensing mechanism.
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