The changes in the electrical properties, such as work function and resistance, of Pt thin films in the presence of hydrogen gas were studied. They were simultaneously measured with a flow-through cell at different concentrations of hydrogen gas in atmosphere containing gaseous nitrogen and that containing air. The resistance was measured by a four-terminal sensing method and the relative work function changes were measured using a field effect transistor. In both atmospheres, the resistance decreased as the concentration of hydrogen gas increased. This result was repeatable only in air because of the differences in the dynamic mechanism of increased density of electrical carriers inside the Pt film as a result of diffused H atoms. In the nitrogen atmosphere, the diffused H atoms were not easily released because of the surface barrier. On the other hand, oxygen gas reacted with H atoms at the surface and this reaction accelerated atom release into air. The work function showed repeatable responses in both atmospheres, but the response characteristics were different. The equilibrium reaction between the adsorption and desorption of hydrogen occurred at the surface in the nitrogen atmosphere, whereas the equilibrium reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to form water molecules occurred in air. The changes in work function and resistance in the presence of hydrogen were due to changes in dissociated hydrogen intensity in the bulk, as well as to the surface reactions.
K. Tsukada, H. Inoue, Fumiya Katayama
Japanese Journal of Applied Physics