Functional Ceramics

Oxygen Sensors

The stabilisation of zirconia which occurs when doping with an oxide such as Y2O3, MgO or CaO results in the formation of oxygen ion vacancies in the crystal lattice. These vacancies enhance the mobility of oxygen ions at high temperatures. This characteristic is used is oxygen sensors where stabilised zirconia is employed as a solid ceramic electrolyte, with platinum electrode coatings on the inner and outer surfaces. The difference in oxygen ions between the inner and outer layers generates a very small voltage which enables the monitoring of exhaust gas streams when used in a car engine.

 

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