- Nano Express
- Open Access
The Sensing Properties of Single Y-Doped SnO2 Nanobelt Device to Acetone
© The Author(s). 2016
- Received: 27 September 2016
- Accepted: 7 October 2016
- Published: 21 October 2016
Pure SnO2 and Y-doped SnO2 nanobelts were prepared by thermal evaporation at 1350 °C in the presence of Ar carrier gas (30 sccm). The samples were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersion spectrometer (EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FTIR). The sensing properties of the devices based on a single SnO2 nanobelt and Y-doped SnO2 nanobelt were explored to acetone, ethanol, and ethanediol. It reveals that the sensitivity of single Y-doped SnO2 nanobelt device is 11.4 to 100 ppm of acetone at 210 °C, which is the highest response among the three tested VOC gases. Y3+ ions improve the sensitivity of SnO2 sensor and have an influence on the optical properties of Y-doped SnO2 nanobelts.
- SnO2 nanobelts
- Y3+ doping
- Gas sensor
- Optical properties
With the development of science and technology as well as people’s increasing concerns for the environment, considerable attentions are paid to efficiently and precisely detect and supervise flammable, explosive, or poisonous gases .
As a transparent n-type semiconductor with a band gap of 3.6 eV, SnO2 can be used as photoelectric devices, sensors, catalysts, and other functional materials . Due to the unique physicochemical properties of SnO2 and enhanced sensing properties of nanostructured materials, quasi-one-dimensional (1D) SnO2 nanomaterials are being widely studied . Various methods were developed to synthesize nanostructured SnO2 materials, such as the sol-gel method, liquid precursor method , electroplating tin thermal oxidation method , and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method . Therefore, synthesis of 1D nanostructured SnO2 materials has made great achievements [7, 8]. SnO2 with various morphologies such as nanoparticle, nanowire, nanosilk, nano-sawtooth, nanobelt, or nanotube are obtained by the abovementioned methods [9–11], which can be used as building blocks for functional devices [12, 13]. Inherent small size effect and surface effect of nanomaterials make SnO2 possess particular physicochemical properties, which are beneficial for gas sensors and solar cells [14–17].
From the point view of pollution, acetone (a common reagent used widely in industries and labs) is harmful to human health. It is extensively used to dissolve plastic, purify paraffin, and dehydrate tissues in pharmaceutics . Inhalation of acetone causes headache, fatigue, and even narcosis and harmfulness to the nerve system. Hence, it is necessary to monitor acetone concentration in the environment for health and safety purposes in the factory .
In this work, we undertake the study on the fabrication and characterization of the devices based on a single SnO2 nanobelt (NB)/Y-SnO2. After that, we systematically investigate the sensing properties of single SnO2 NB/Y-SnO2 NB device. Based on it, the influence of Y elements on the sensing properties of SnO2 NB is discussed.
Synthesis of Y-Doped SnO2 NBs
Y-doped SnO2 NBs (hereafter denoted as “Y-SnO2 NBs”) were prepared by thermal evaporation technique. For synthesis of Y-SnO2 NBs, SnO2 powders with a purity of 99.99 % were mixed with Y powders (Yttrium (III) acetate tetrahydrate 99.99 %) in the weight ratio of 20:1 and then put into a ceramic boat. The boat was placed in the center of the alundum tube, which was installed in a high-temperature furnace. A silicon substrate coated with about 10-nm-thick Au film was put in the alundum tube with a distance of 10 cm from the ceramic boat and then the tube was cleaned several times by argon gas. The temperature of the furnace was heated up to 1350 °C at a rate of 15 °C/min and was kept for 2 h. Ar gas was flowed at 30 sccm, and the pressure inside the tube was maintained to 112.5 Torr during the whole experiment. The deposited samples were taken out as the furnace was naturally cooled to room temperature.
The morphology, microstructures, and composition of Y-SnO2 NBs were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-Vis absorption spectra, Raman spectra, Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FTIR), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM).
Morphology and Structure
The XPS spectra for the binding energy of Sn (3d), O (1s), and Y (3d) electrons are also provided to demonstrate the existence of Y3+ ions. The deconvolution of the O (1s) peak shows three Gaussian peaks, centered at 529.3, 530.98, and 532.5 eV, respectively (displayed in Fig. 3b). The peak at the low-binding energy can be attributed to the lattice oxygen in SnO2 and the high-binding energy related to the chemisorbed oxygen species. The Sn (3d) peak shows two peaks located at the binding energies of 486.3 eV Sn (3d5/2) and 494.7 eV of Sn (3d3/2), as shown in Fig. 3c. The separation distance between the two peaks is 8.4 eV, which corresponds to the Sn standard spectrum, indicating the formation of Sn4+ oxidation state in the SnO2 nanobelts . The Y (3d) can be separated into two peaks; the peaks at 157.2 and 159.98 eV belong to the binding energies of Y (3d5/2) and Y (3d3/2), respectively, as displayed in Fig. 3d. These results are in good agreement with those of XRD and EDS. Therefore, it is confirmed that Y3+ ions are doped into SnO2 nanobelts successfully.
Mechanism of the Sensitivity of Y-SnO2 NBs
O2 (gas)→O2 (adsorption)
O2 (gas)→O2 − (adsorption)
O2 − (gas)→2O− (adsorption)
O2 − (gas)→O2− (adsorption)
4O2 − + C3H6O = 3H2O + 3CO2 + 8e−
8O− + C3H6O = 3H2O + 3CO2 + 8e−
8O2− + C3H6O = 3H2O + 3CO2 + 16e−
Y-SnO2 NBs have been synthesized by thermal evaporation method. The XRD pattern indicates that Y-SnO2 NBs and undoped counterparts are a tetragonal structure. The EDS and XPS results reveal that Y3+ ions are doped into SnO2 NBs successfully. Compared with that of pure SnO2, the UV-Vis absorption spectrum of Y-SnO2 NBs redshifts after doping. In addition, the sensing property of the device based on Y-SnO2 NB has been measured at different concentrations. It is found that the Y-SnO2 NB device have a higher sensitivity with 11.4 to 100 ppm of acetone at 210 °C and the doping of Y improves the sensing performance of SnO2 NBs effectively.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11164034), the Key Applied Basic Research Program of Science and Technology Commission Foundation of Yunnan Province (Grant No. 2013FA035), and the Innovative Talents of Science and Technology Plan Projects of Yunnan Province (Grant No. 2012HA007).
YL guided the experiments and the test process and revised the paper. LX carried out the synthesis of nanobelts and gas sensitivity test and prepared the manuscript. LS, WY, and HJ carried out the characterization. YD analyzed the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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