In this study, the gas sensing properties of Co-doped ZnO nanoparticles (Co-ZnO NPs) synthesized via a simple sol-gel method are reported. The microstructure and morphology of the synthesized Co-ZnO NPs were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively. Co-ZnO NPs were then used for developing a conductometric gas sensor for the detection, at mild temperature, of low concentration of hydrogen (H2
) in air. To evaluate the selectivity of the sensor, the sensing behavior toward some VOCs such as ethanol and acetone, which represent the most important interferents for breath hydrogen analysis, was also investigated in detail. Results reported demonstrated better selectivity toward hydrogen of the Co-ZnO NPs sensor when compared to pure ZnO. The main factors contributing to this behavior, i.e., the transition from n
-type behavior of pristine ZnO to p
-type behavior upon Co-doping, the modification of oxygen vacancies and acid-base characteristics have been considered. Hence, this study highlights the importance of Co doping of ZnO to realize a high performance breath hydrogen sensor.
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