Crossover behavior in the hydrogen sensing mechanism for palladium ultrathin films
Palladium has been extensively studied as a material for hydrogen sensors because of the simplicity of its reversible resistance change when exposed to hydrogen gas. Various palladium films and nanostructures have been used, and different responses have been observed with these diverse morphologies. In some cases, such as with nanowires, the resistance will decrease, whereas in others, such as with thick films, the resistance will increase. Each of these mechanisms has been explored for several palladium structures, but the crossover between them has not been systematically investigated. Here we report on a study aimed at deciphering the nanostructure-property relationships of ultrathin palladium films used as hydrogen gas sensors. The crossover in these films is observed at a thickness of ~ 5 nm. Ramifications for future sensor developments are discussed.