High-performance humidity sensor using Schottky-contacted SnS nanoflakes for noncontact healthcare monitoring

Hongyu Tang, Yutao Li, Huaiyu Ye, Fafei Hu, Chenshan Gao, Luqi Tao, Tao Tu, Guangyang Gou, Xianping Chen, Xuejun Fan, Tianling Ren, Guogi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Humidity sensors based on flexible sensitive nanomaterials are very attractive in noncontact healthcare monitoring. However, the existing humidity sensors have some shortcomings such as limited sensitivity, narrow relative humidity (RH) range, and a complex process. Herein, we show that a tin sulphide (SnS) nanoflakes-based sensor presents high humidity sensing behaviour both in rigid and flexible substrate. The sensing mechanism based on the Schottky nature of a SnS-metal contact endows the as-fabricated sensor with a high response of 2491000% towards a wide RH range from 3% RH to 99% RH. The response and recovery time of the sensor are 6 s and 4 s, respectively. Besides, the flexible SnS nanoflakes-based humidity sensor with a polyimide substrate can be well attached to the skin and exhibits stable humidity sensing performance in the natural flat state and under bending loading. Moreover, the first-principles analysis is performed to prove the high specificity of SnS to the moisture (H2O) in the air. Benefiting from its promising advantages, we explore some application of the SnS nanoflakes-based sensors in detection of breathing patterns and non-contact finger tips sensing behaviour. The sensor can monitor the respiration pattern of a human being accurately, and recognize the movement of the fingertip speedily. This novel humidity sensor shows great promising application in physiological and physical monitoring, portable diagnosis system, and noncontact interface localization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055501
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • healthcare monitoring
  • Humidity sensor
  • noncontact sensation
  • Schottky-contact
  • SnS nanoflakes

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