Pseudo n-type behaviour of nickel oxide thin film at room temperature towards ammonia sensing

Kumar Haunsbhavi, Karuppiah Deva Arun Kumar, Paolo Mele, Omar M. Aldossary, Mohd Ubaidullah, H. M. Mahesh, Prashantha Murahari, Basavaraj Angadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Sensors are part of a safe laboratory, working space and closed environment. In view of this, a sensing material for ammonia (NH3) vapour, nickel oxide (NiO) has been investigated to improve its quality as a sensor. The transparent nanostructured NiO thin films were deposited on glass substrates by sol-gel spin coating method at different molar concentrations (0.4 M, 0.6 M and 0.8 M). The NH3 sensing studies reveal that 0.6 M film shows admirable response of 403 (75 ppm), and also it has good response and recovery times (110 s and 33 s) for 25 ppm at room temperature. These features of the film are attributed to low surface roughness, small grain size and higher surface to volume ratio compared to other films. In presence of air ambience, the electrons at film surface are chemisorbed by oxygen molecules and thereby cause an increase of the depletion layer. Once the film is exposed to the analyte gas NH3, the depletion layer decreases because of electrons returning back to the conduction band (CB). These electrons are then de-excited to the valence band (VB) and recombine with holes (annihilation of holes). At the same time, the trapping of electrons by Ni(OH)2 and creation of holes by oxidation of Ni2+ into Ni3+ increases the hole concentration at VB, followed by a reduction of recombination rate of electrons and holes. All these processes decrease the potential barrier between the grains and thereby cause the Fermi level (EF) to shift towards VB. These processes remarkably enhance the sensing behaviour of the film. Importantly, the prepared NiO thin film behaves as a n-type sensor at room temperature for NH3; and therefore, termed as pseudo-n-type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13693-13703
Number of pages11
JournalCeramics International
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 15


  • Nickel oxide
  • Potential barrier
  • Pseudo-n-type behaviour
  • Sensing mechanism
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Pseudo n-type behaviour of nickel oxide thin film at room temperature towards ammonia sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this