Kelvin Probe as a Humidity Sensor

Authored by: Ghenadii Korotcenkov

Handbook of Humidity Measurement

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138300224
eBook ISBN: 9780203731888
Adobe ISBN:


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In principle, Kelvin probe–based humidity sensors could be included in the field-effect transistors group, whose operation principle is also based on changing the work function of humidity-sensitive material under the influence of water vapor. However, these devices have a fundamentally different configuration. Moreover, their operation principle is based on the direct measurement of the change in the work function and not on the measurement of other parameters of the material, associated with the work function, as is done in field-effect transistors or Schottky barriers. This chapter describes the features of humidity measurement using the Kelvin probe method. It is important to note that the Kelvin probe method is the relative method that measures the contact potential difference between the sample and the reference electrode. It is shown that these measurements can be carried out using both metal oxides and polymers and graphene as a humidity-sensitive material. As an example of the implementation of Kelvin probe–based humidity sensors, a sensor fabricated using bulk micromachining technology is considered. The analysis of the possibilities and limitations of Kelvin probe–based humidity sensors is also given in this chapter.

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