Study of the conduction mechanism of La2CuO4-ZnO heterocontacts at different relative humidities

Enrico Traversa*, Andrea Bearzotti, Masaru Miyayama, Hiroaki Yanagida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Heterocontacts between p-type La2CuO4 and n-type ZnO semiconductors have been prepared by mechanically pressing sintered discs of the two oxides. Their humidity-sensing electrical properties are evaluated using d.c. and a.c. measurements at various relative humidity (rh) values. The current-voltage (I-V) curves, measured in dry and wet N2 or O2, are typical of p-n diodes at all rh values. The current versus rh sensitivity of the heterocontacts is bias dependent. The influence of the original adsorbates on the rh sensitivity is proved. Higher rh sensitivities of the heterocontacts are measured in oxygen, where a larger number of interface states is present. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements, carried out in dry and wet air, show that the higher the rh, the higher the interface capacitance and the lower the interface resistance. EIS spectra are dependent on the d.c. bias applied, which mainly affects the resistence. At 90% rh, a distribution of capacitances with different relaxation time is found, which may be caused by the electrolysis of water molecules at p-n junction sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-718
Number of pages5
JournalSensors and Actuators: B. Chemical
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Heterocontacts
  • Humidity sensors
  • Lanthanum cuprate
  • Zinc oxide

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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