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Optical excitation-enhanced sensing properties of acetone gas sensors based on Al2O3-doped ZnO

Xuehai Guo (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)
Guofeng Pan (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)
Xin Ma (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)
Xiangzhou Li (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)
Ping He (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)
Zhongqiu Hua (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)
Haiqing Li (Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 19 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to synthesize Al2O3-ZnO thick films, study the effect of doping and optical excitation on their sensing properties and introduce an attractive candidate for acetone detection in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

ZnO nanoparticles doped with Al2O3 were prepared by sol-gel method and characterized via X-ray diffraction and field-emission scanning electron microscopy. The sensing properties to acetone were investigated with an irradiation of UV. The sensing mechanism was also discussed with UV-Vis spectroscopy.

Findings

The doping of Al2O3 promoted the sensing response and stability of ZnO nanoparticles. The optimum performance was obtained by 4.96 Wt.% Al2O3-ZnO. The response to acetone (1,000 ppm) was significantly increased to 241.81, even just at an operating temperature of 64°C. It was also demonstrated that optical excitation with UV irradiation greatly enhanced the sensing response and the sensitivity can reach up to 305.14.

Practical implications

The sensor fabricated from 4.96 Wt.% Al2O3-ZnO exhibited excellent acetone-sensing characteristics. It is promising to be applied in low power and miniature acetone gas sensors.

Originality/value

In the present research, the optimum performance was obtained by 4.96 Wt.% Al2O3-ZnO at a low operating temperature of 64°C. The sensing properties were enhanced significantly with optical excitation, and the sensing mechanism was discussed with UV-Vis spectroscopy which has been reported rarely before.

Keywords

Citation

Guo, X., Pan, G., Ma, X., Li, X., He, P., Hua, Z. and Li, H. (2017), "Optical excitation-enhanced sensing properties of acetone gas sensors based on Al2O3-doped ZnO", Sensor Review, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 364-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/SR-12-2016-0271

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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