Properties of pulsed laser deposited nanocomposite NiO:Au thin films for gas sensing applications
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Nanocomposite thin films formed by gold nanoparticles embedded in a nickel oxide matrix have been synthesized by a new variation of the pulsed laser deposition technique. Two actively synchronized laser sources, a KrF excimer laser at 248 nm and an Nd:YAG laser at 355 nm, were used for the simultaneous ablation of nickel and gold targets in oxygen ambient. The structural, morphological, and electrical properties of the obtained nanocomposite films were investigated in relation to the fluence of the laser irradiating the gold target. The nanocomposite thin films were tested as electrochemical hydrogen sensors. It was found that the addition of the gold nanoparticles increased the sensor sensitivity significantly.
KeywordsSnO2 Laser Fluence Hydrogen Sensor Nanocomposite Thin Film Pulse Laser Deposition Technique
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Hellenic General Secretariat for Research and Technology through a bilateral Greek–Slovak Research Agreement (2005–2007) as well as partial support from the “Nano-structured organic–inorganic hybrid materials—synthesis, diagnostics and properties” program No. 2005ΣE01330081 of TPCI/NHRF as a “Centre of Excellence,” 2005. One of the authors (I.F.) would also like to thank the TPCI/NHRF for financial support in the frame of a two-year scholarship.