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Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1820; doi:10.3390/s16111820

A Photoactivated Gas Detector for Toluene Sensing at Room Temperature Based on New Coral-Like ZnO Nanostructure Arrays

1
Graduate Institute of Electronics Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
3
Graduate Institute of Applied Mechanics, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
4
Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
5
Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
These authors contributed equally to the work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christos Riziotis, Evangelos Hristoforou and Dimitrios Vlachos
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Applications for Sensors and Transducers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4758 KB, uploaded 31 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

A photoactivated gas detector operated at room temperature was microfabricated using a simple hydrothermal method. We report that the photoactivated gas detector can detect toluene using a UV illumination of 2 μW/cm2. By ultraviolet (UV) illumination, gas detectors sense toluene at room temperature without heating. A significant enhancement of detector sensitivity is achieved because of the high surface-area-to-volume ratio of the morphology of the coral-like ZnO nanorods arrays (NRAs) and the increased number of photo-induced oxygen ions under UV illumination. The corresponding sensitivity (ΔR/R0) of the detector based on coral-like ZnO NRAs is enhanced by approximately 1022% compared to that of thin-film detectors. The proposed detector greatly extends the dynamic range of detection of metal-oxide-based detectors for gas sensing applications. We report the first-ever detection of toluene with a novel coral-like NRAs gas detector at room temperature. A sensing mechanism model is also proposed to explain the sensing responses of gas detectors based on coral-like ZnO NRAs. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO gas detector; ZnO coral-like nanostructures; photoactivation; room temperature sensing ZnO gas detector; ZnO coral-like nanostructures; photoactivation; room temperature sensing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yeh, L.-K.; Luo, J.-C.; Chen, M.-C.; Wu, C.-H.; Chen, J.-Z.; Cheng, I.-C.; Hsu, C.-C.; Tian, W.-C. A Photoactivated Gas Detector for Toluene Sensing at Room Temperature Based on New Coral-Like ZnO Nanostructure Arrays. Sensors 2016, 16, 1820.

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