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Black, N. C. G.; Rungger, I.; Li, B.; Maier, S. A.; Cohen, L. F.; Gallop, J. C.; Hao, L. (2018): Adsorption dynamics of CVD graphene investigated by a contactless microwave method. In: 2D Materials, Vol. 5, No. 3, 35024
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Abstract

We use a contactless microwave dielectric resonator gas sensing platform to study the adsorption dynamics of NO2 gas present in air onto a graphene surface. The use of microwaves removes the need for metal contacts that would otherwise be necessary for traditional conductivity measurements, and therefore allows non-invasive determination of NO2 concentrations to sub parts per million. As a result, gas-metal interactions and localised graphene doping in the vicinity of metal contacts are eliminated, with the advantage that only graphene-gas adsorbate interactions are responsible for the measured signal. We show that the sensor response for all considered concentrations can be described using a surface coverage dependent Langmuir model. We demonstrate that the possible variation of the NO2 binding energy, which is frequently considered as the main parameter, plays only a secondary role compared to the rising adsorption energy barrier with increasing NO2 coverage. The continuous distribution of the properties of the graphene adsorption sites used in the theoretical model is supported by our Kelvin probe and Raman surface analysis. Our results demonstrate that the non-invasive microwave method is a promising alternative platform for gas sensing. Moreover it provides valuable insights towards the understanding of the microscopic processes occurring in graphene based gas sensors, which is a key factor in the realization of reproducible and optimized device properties.