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Sensors 2013, 13(9), 12070-12092; doi:10.3390/s130912070

Strontium-Doped Hematite as a Possible Humidity Sensing Material for Soil Water Content Determination

1
Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Università di Torino, Via Leonardo da Vinci, 44, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2013 / Revised: 21 August 2013 / Accepted: 26 August 2013 / Published: 10 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)

Abstract

The aim of this work is to study the sensing behavior of Sr-doped hematite for soil water content measurement. The material was prepared by solid state reaction from commercial hematite and strontium carbonate heat treated at 900 °C. X-Ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and mercury intrusion porosimetry were used for microstructural characterization of the synthesized powder. Sensors were then prepared by uniaxially pressing and by screen-printing, on an alumina substrate, the prepared powder and subsequent firing in the 800–1,000 °C range. These sensors were first tested in a laboratory apparatus under humid air and then in an homogenized soil and finally in field. The results evidenced that the screen printed film was able to give a response for a soil matric potential from about 570 kPa, that is to say well below the wilting point in the used soil.
Keywords: hematite; strontium hexaferrite; humidity sensor; soil water content determination hematite; strontium hexaferrite; humidity sensor; soil water content determination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tulliani, J.-M.; Baroni, C.; Zavattaro, L.; Grignani, C. Strontium-Doped Hematite as a Possible Humidity Sensing Material for Soil Water Content Determination. Sensors 2013, 13, 12070-12092.

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