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ZnO has been studied intensely for chemical sensors due to its high sensitivity and fast response. Here, we present a simple approach to precisely control oxygen vacancy contents to provide significantly enhanced acetone sensing performance of commercial ZnO nanopowders. A combination of H2O2 treatment and thermal annealing produces optimal surface defects with oxygen vacancies on the ZnO nanoparticles (NPs). The highest response of ~27,562 was achieved for 10 ppm acetone in 0.125 M H2O2 treated/annealed ZnO NPs at the optimal working temperature of 400 ℃, which is significantly higher than that of reported so far in various acetone sensors based on metal oxide semiconductors (MOSs). Furthermore, first-principles calculations indicate that pre-adsorbed O formed on the surface of H2O2 treated ZnO NPs can provide favorable adsorption energy, especially for acetone detection, due to strong bidentate bonding between carbonyl C atom of acetone molecules and pre-adsorbed O on the ZnO surface. Our study demonstrates that controlling surface oxygen vacancies by H2O2 treatment and re-annealing at optimal temperature is an effective method to improve the sensing properties of commercial MOS materials.


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Precise control of surface oxygen vacancies in ZnO nanoparticles for extremely high acetone sensing response

Show Author's information Jihyun LEEaYoungmoon CHOIbByoung Joon PARKcJeong Woo HANc,dHyun-Sook LEEa( )Jong Hyeok PARKb( )Wooyoung LEEa( )
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea
Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Republic of Korea
Institute for Convergence Research and Education in Advanced Technology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea

† Jihyun Lee and Youngmoon Choi contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

ZnO has been studied intensely for chemical sensors due to its high sensitivity and fast response. Here, we present a simple approach to precisely control oxygen vacancy contents to provide significantly enhanced acetone sensing performance of commercial ZnO nanopowders. A combination of H2O2 treatment and thermal annealing produces optimal surface defects with oxygen vacancies on the ZnO nanoparticles (NPs). The highest response of ~27,562 was achieved for 10 ppm acetone in 0.125 M H2O2 treated/annealed ZnO NPs at the optimal working temperature of 400 ℃, which is significantly higher than that of reported so far in various acetone sensors based on metal oxide semiconductors (MOSs). Furthermore, first-principles calculations indicate that pre-adsorbed O formed on the surface of H2O2 treated ZnO NPs can provide favorable adsorption energy, especially for acetone detection, due to strong bidentate bonding between carbonyl C atom of acetone molecules and pre-adsorbed O on the ZnO surface. Our study demonstrates that controlling surface oxygen vacancies by H2O2 treatment and re-annealing at optimal temperature is an effective method to improve the sensing properties of commercial MOS materials.

Keywords:

gas sensors, acetone, metal oxide semiconductors (MOSs), ZnO nanoparticles (NPs), H2O2 treatment
Received: 29 September 2021 Revised: 20 December 2021 Accepted: 11 January 2022 Published: 20 April 2022 Issue date: May 2022
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Publication history

Received: 29 September 2021
Revised: 20 December 2021
Accepted: 11 January 2022
Published: 20 April 2022
Issue date: May 2022

Copyright

© The Author(s) 2022.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (No. 20013621, Center for Super Critical Material Industrial Technology) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Republic of Korea), the Priority Research Centers Program (2019R1A6A1A11 055660), and the Basic Science Research Program (2017 M3A9F1052297) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Republic of Korean Government (Ministry of Science and ICT). Jong Hyeok PARK acknowledges the support from the International Energy Joint R&D Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (20208510010310). Hyun-Sook LEE gratefully acknowledges the support from the Basic Research in Science and Engineering Program of the NRF (2021R1A2C1013690).

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