Humidity sensitivity of sputtered TiO2 thin films

Andrea Bearzotti*, Alessandra Bianco, Giampiero Montesperelli, Enrico Traversa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The humidity sensitivity of sputtered TiO2 thin films was studied by d.c. analysis techniques. three different sets of specimens were prepared by sputtering in different conditions. The films prepared by reaction sputtering from a Ti target showed a current versus relative humidity (r.h.) sensitivity of 4 orders of magnitude in the r.h. range from 2 to 90%. For these films the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics were linear, while films prepared by sputtering from a TiO2 target and those prepared by the thermal oxidation of sputtered Ti layers showed a back-to-back diode behaviour. The formation of Schottky barriers at the metal/oxide interfaces indicates that these films are semiconductors. Using the charging and discharging processes it was determined that for films prepared by reactive sputtering intrinsic electronic conduction was negligible, while for the other films at low r.h. the conduction carriers were mainly electrons, and protons and electrons at high r.h., protons being the dominant carriers. The films prepared by reactive sputtering showed a slow response time during water adsorption, and a faster response time during water desorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-528
Number of pages4
JournalSensors and Actuators: B. Chemical
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Council of Italy (C.N.R.), under the auspices of the Targeted Project ‘Special Materials for Advanced Technologies’.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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