A sensor with an attenuated drift characteristic, including a layer structure in which a sensing layer has a layer of diffusional barrier material on at least one of its faces. The sensor may for example be constituted as a hydrogen gas sensor including a palladium/yttrium layer structure formed on a micro-hotplate base, with a chromium barrier layer between the yttrium layer and the micro-hotplate, and with a tantalum barrier layer between the yttrium layer and an overlying palladium protective layer. The gas sensor is useful for detection of a target gas in environments susceptible to generation or incursion of such gas, and achieves substantial (e.g., >90%) reduction of signal drift from the gas sensor in extended operation, relative to a corresponding gas sensor lacking the diffusional barrier structure of the invention.
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS IN INVENTION
Work related to the invention hereof was conducted in the performance of Department of Energy Contract No. DE-FC36-99GO10451. The Government has certain rights in the invention.