Systems and methods are described for providing a hydrogen sensing element with a more robust exposed metallization by application of a discontinuous or porous overlay to hold the metallization firmly on the substrate. An apparatus includes: a substantially inert, electrically-insulating substrate; a first Pd containing metallization deposited upon the substrate and completely covered by a substantially hydrogen-impermeable layer so as to form a reference resistor on the substrate; a second Pd containing metallization deposited upon the substrate and at least a partially accessible to a gas to be tested, so as to form a hydrogen-sensing resistor; a protective structure disposed upon at least a portion of the second Pd containing metallization and at least a portion of the substrate to improve the attachment of the second Pd containing metallization to the substrate while allowing the gas to contact said the second Pd containing metallization; and a resistance bridge circuit coupled to both the first and second Pd containing metallizations. The circuit determines the difference in electrical resistance between the first and second Pd containing metallizations. The hydrogen concentration in the gas may be determined. The systems and methods provide advantages because adhesion is improved without adversely effecting measurement speed or sensitivity.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with United States government support awarded by the United States Department of Energy under contract No. DE-AC05-96OR22464 to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation. The United States has certain rights in this invention.