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Materials 2016, 9(2), 87; doi:10.3390/ma9020087

Cu-Doped ZnO Thin Films Deposited by a Sol-Gel Process Using Two Copper Precursors: Gas-Sensing Performance in a Propane Atmosphere

1
Área académica de Computación y Electrónica, Instituto de Ciencias Básicas e Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Hidalgo 56092, Mexico
2
Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México D.F. 14740, Mexico
3
Instituto de Energías Renovables, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Morelos 62580, Mexico
4
Escuela Superior de Ingeniería Mecánica y Eléctrica, Unidad Ticoman del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México D.F. 07340, Mexico
5
Departamento de Física, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México D.F. 14740, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elisabetta Comini
Received: 10 June 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Chemical Sensing Applications)
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Abstract

A study on the propane gas-sensing properties of Cu-doped ZnO thin films is presented in this work. The films were deposited on glass substrates by sol-gel and dip coating methods, using zinc acetate as a zinc precursor, copper acetate and copper chloride as precursors for doping. For higher sensitivity values, two film thickness values are controlled by the six and eight dippings, whereas for doping, three dippings were used, irrespective of the Cu precursor. The film structure was analyzed by X-ray diffractometry, and the analysis of the surface morphology and film composition was made through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), respectively. The sensing properties of Cu-doped ZnO thin films were then characterized in a propane atmosphere, C3H8, at different concentration levels and different operation temperatures of 100, 200 and 300 °C. Cu-doped ZnO films doped with copper chloride presented the highest sensitivity of approximately 6 × 104, confirming a strong dependence on the dopant precursor type. The results obtained in this work show that the use of Cu as a dopant in ZnO films processed by sol-gel produces excellent catalysts for sensing C3H8 gas. View Full-Text
Keywords: copper dopant; gas sensor; sol-gel copper dopant; gas sensor; sol-gel
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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Gómez-Pozos, H.; Arredondo, E.J.L.; Maldonado Álvarez, A.; Biswal, R.; Kudriavtsev, Y.; Pérez, J.V.; Casallas-Moreno, Y.L.; Olvera Amador, M.L. Cu-Doped ZnO Thin Films Deposited by a Sol-Gel Process Using Two Copper Precursors: Gas-Sensing Performance in a Propane Atmosphere. Materials 2016, 9, 87.

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