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Simple Fabrication Process for 2D ZnO Nanowalls and Their Potential Application as a Methane Sensor
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6171-6182; doi:10.3390/s130506171
Article

Hydrothermal Synthesis of Various Hierarchical ZnO Nanostructures and Their Methane Sensing Properties

1,* , 1,* , 1
 and
2
1 State Key Laboratory of Power Transmission Equipment & System Security and New Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400030, China 2 Chongqing Electric Power Research Institute, Chongqing 401123, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 March 2013 / Revised: 23 April 2013 / Accepted: 26 April 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotube and Nanowire Sensors)
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Abstract

Hierarchical flower-like ZnO nanorods, net-like ZnO nanofibers and ZnO nanobulks have been successfully synthesized via a surfactant assisted hydrothemal method. The synthesized products were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction and field emission scanning electron microscopy, respectively. A possible growth mechanism of the various hierarchical ZnO nanostructures is discussed in detail. Gas sensors based on the as-prepared ZnO nanostructures were fabricated by screen-printing on a flat ceramic substrate. Furthermore, their gas sensing characteristics towards methane were systematically investigated. Methane is an important characteristic hydrocarbon contaminant found dissolved in power transformer oil as a result of faults. We find that the hierarchical flower-like ZnO nanorods and net-like ZnO nanofibers samples show higher gas response and lower operating temperature with rapid response-recovery time compared to those of sensors based on ZnO nanobulks. These results present a feasible way of exploring high performance sensing materials for on-site detection of characteristic fault gases dissolved in transformer oil.
Keywords: hierarchical nanostructures; ZnO gas sensor; growth mechanism; methane; sensing properties hierarchical nanostructures; ZnO gas sensor; growth mechanism; methane; sensing properties
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Zhou, Q.; Chen, W.; Xu, L.; Peng, S. Hydrothermal Synthesis of Various Hierarchical ZnO Nanostructures and Their Methane Sensing Properties. Sensors 2013, 13, 6171-6182.

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