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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 913; doi:10.3390/s17040913

Synthesis, Characterization and Enhanced Sensing Properties of a NiO/ZnO p–n Junctions Sensor for the SF6 Decomposition Byproducts SO2, SO2F2, and SOF2

1
College of Engineering and Technology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Power Transmission Equipment & System Security and New Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400030, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 12 March 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

The detection of partial discharge and analysis of the composition and content of sulfur hexafluoride SF6 gas components are important to evaluate the operating state and insulation level of gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) equipment. This paper reported a novel sensing material made of pure ZnO and NiO-decorated ZnO nanoflowers which were synthesized by a facile and environment friendly hydrothermal process for the detection of SF6 decomposition byproducts. X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize the structural and morphological properties of the prepared gas-sensitive materials. Planar-type chemical gas sensors were fabricated and their gas sensing performances toward the SF6 decomposition byproducts SO2, SO2F2, and SOF2 were systemically investigated. Interestingly, the sensing behaviors of the fabricated ZnO nanoflowers-based sensor to SO2, SO2F2, and SOF2 gases can be obviously enhanced in terms of lower optimal operating temperature, higher gas response and shorter response-recovery time by introducing NiO. Finally, a possible gas sensing mechanism for the formation of the p–n junctions between NiO and ZnO is proposed to explain the enhanced gas response. All results demonstrate a promising approach to fabricate high-performance gas sensors to detect SF6 decomposition byproducts. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthesis and characterization; NiO-decorated ZnO; p–n junctions; sensing properties; SF6 decomposition byproducts synthesis and characterization; NiO-decorated ZnO; p–n junctions; sensing properties; SF6 decomposition byproducts
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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

Liu, H.; Zhou, Q.; Zhang, Q.; Hong, C.; Xu, L.; Jin, L.; Chen, W. Synthesis, Characterization and Enhanced Sensing Properties of a NiO/ZnO p–n Junctions Sensor for the SF6 Decomposition Byproducts SO2, SO2F2, and SOF2. Sensors 2017, 17, 913.

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