Humidity sensitive electrical properties of dense ZnO with non-ohmic electrode

Enrico Traversa*, Andrea Bearzotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The humidity sensitive electrical properties of ZnO dense sintered compacts with two, one, or no ohmic contact are reported. Sintered ZnO discs were prepared by traditional ceramic processing. Ohmic contacts were obtained with Al electrodes. Non-ohmic contacts were made by mechanically pressing Au sheets on the uncoated sides of sintered discs. Dark current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of ZnO pellets were measured at different relative humidity (rh) values and at room temperature. The I-V curves for pellets with one ohmic contact showed a diode behavior, with a rectifying character, attributed to the presence of a Schottky barrier. The rectifying characteristics of ZnO pellets were enhanced in the presence of humidity, and the rh-sensitivity was bias-dependent. The rh-sensitivity of dense ZnO pellets with a Schottky barrier can be related to the variation of the barrier height due to the presence of surface states. Their behavior resembles that of p-n junctions, with a sensing mechanism which is different from those already proposed in the literature for ceramic materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-15
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Ceramic Society of Japan. International ed.
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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