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Influence of adsorbed oxygen on charge transport and chlorine gas-sensing characteristics of thin cobalt phthalocyanine films

Soumen Samanta, Arvind Kumar, Ajay Singh, Anil Krishna Debnath, Dinesh Kumar Aswal, and Shiv Kumar Gupta

Technical Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, 400085 India



Abstract: We have investigated the morphology, charge transport, and gas-sensing characteristics of thin films of cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPc) deposited on glass and sapphire substrates, using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). CoPc films deposited on glass were found to be highly disordered. The ambient oxygen was found to be chemisorbed and created deep trap states, which led not only to hysteretic current-voltage (J-V) characteristics but also reduce the charge mobility. These properties render them unsuitable for gas-sensing. On the other hand, films deposited on sapphire were polycrystalline, which was attributed to an improved molecule-substrate interaction. The physically sorbed oxygen only created shallow traps, and the J-V characteristics were non-hysteretic, rendering them suitable for gas-sensing applications. It was demonstrated that the ultrathin (20 nm) CoPc films deposited on sapphire acted as highly sensitive and selective sensors for chlorine present in the w Cl concentration range of 5 × 10−9−2 × 10−6 (5–2000 ppb).

Keywords: molecular beam epitaxy – phthalocyanine films – chemisorbed oxygen – chlorine sensing

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-011-0113-3


Chemical Papers 66 (5) 484–491 (2012)

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