Ultrasensitive hydrogen detection by electrostatically formed silicon nanowire decorated by palladium nanoparticles

Anwesha Mukherjee*, Mohamad Gnaim, Idan Shem Tov, Laura Hargreaves, Joseph Hayon, Alexander Shluger, Yossi Rosenwaks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing high performance hydrogen (H2) sensors is of utmost importance to facilitate the safe usage of H2 as the alternative source of clean and renewable energy. We present an ultra-sensitive H2 sensor operating in air and based on electrostatically formed nanowire (EFN) sensor decorated by palladium nanoparticles (Pd NPs). By appropriate tuning of the various gate voltages of the EFN, an extremely high sensor response of ∼2 × 106 % (0.8 % H2 exposure) and a sensitivity of ∼400 % ppm−1 is obtained at room temperature (20 ± 2 °C). This sensor outperforms, to the best of our knowledge, most of the reported resistive and field effect transistor (FET) based H2 sensors. The EFN power consumption varies from few pW to ∼436 nW at maximum current operation thus enabling ultra-low power usage at room temperature. In addition, the sensor exhibits fast response and recovery times, retains good sensing performances even at 50 % relative humidity (RH) and exhibits reproducibility over time. Combining Pd NPs with the unique features of the EFN platform makes Pd-EFN a versatile, robust, low power, rapid, and highly sensitive H2 sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130509
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Electrostatically formed silicon nanowire
  • Hydrogen sensing
  • Kelvin probe force microscopy
  • Palladium nanoparticles


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