Ceramic sensors for humidity detection: the state-of-the-art and future developments

Enrico Traversa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

762 Scopus citations


The possible applications of humidity sensors in automated systems for environmental control encompass many industrial and domestic fields. Very different operating temperatures and a variety of humidity ranges are needed for these purposes. The different humidity-sensing mechanisms and operating principles identified for ceramics are reviewed. Ceramic humidity sensors are divided into ionic, electronic, solid-electrolyte and rectifying-junction types. Examples of the performance of some ceramic sensors are presented. The correlation between the microstructure of ceramic materials and their humidity-sensitive electrical response is discussed. The improvement of the performance of ionic-type humidity sensors by the addition of alkali ions is explained in terms of influence on the microstructure and on the intrinsic impedance. The recent trend towards the miniaturization and integration of sensors on a single chip requires the production of ceramic films. Ceramic thin films prepared by sol-gel or sputtering processes are investigated. The results obtained on the humidity sensitivity of pn semiconducting oxide heterocontacts are also reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-156
Number of pages22
JournalSensors and Actuators: B. Chemical
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Ceramic sensors
  • Humidity detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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