The UV effect on the chemiresistive response of ZnO nanostructures to isopropanol and benzene at PPM concentrations in mixture with dry and wet air

Maksim A. Solomatin, Olga E. Glukhova, Fedor S. Fedorov, Martin Sommer, Vladislav V. Shunaev, Alexey S. Varezhnikov, Albert G. Nasibulin, Nikolay M. Ushakov, Victor V. Sysoev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Towards the development of low-power miniature gas detectors, there is a high interest in the research of light-activated metal oxide gas sensors capable to operate at room temperature (RT). Herein, we study ZnO nanostructures grown by the electrochemical deposition method over Si/SiO2 substrates equipped by multiple Pt electrodes to serve as on-chip gas monitors and thoroughly estimate its chemiresistive performance upon exposing to two model VOCs, isopropanol and benzene, in a wide operating temperature range, from RT to 350C, and LED-powered UV illumination, 380 nm wavelength; the dry air and humid-enriched, 50 rel. %, air are employed as a background. We show that the UV activation allows one to get a distinctive chemiresistive signal of the ZnO sensor to isopropanol at RT regardless of the interfering presence of H2O vapors. On the contrary, the benzene vapors do not react with UV-illuminated ZnO at RT under dry air while the humidity’s appearance gives an opportunity to detect this gas. Still, both VOCs are well detected by the ZnO sensor under heating at a 200–350C range independently on additional UV exciting. We employ quantum chemical calculations to explain the differences between these two VOCs’ interactions with ZnO surface by a remarkable distinction of the binding energies characterizing single molecules, which is −0.44 eV in the case of isopropanol and −3.67 eV in the case of benzene. The full covering of a ZnO supercell by H2O molecules taken for the effect’s estimation shifts the binding energies to −0.50 eV and −0.72 eV, respectively. This theory insight supports the experimental observation that benzene could not react with ZnO surface at RT under employed LED UV without humidity’s presence, indifference to isopropanol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181
JournalChemosensors
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Chemiresistive effect
  • DFTB
  • Electrochemical deposition
  • Gas sensor
  • Microarray
  • Zinc oxide

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