Near room temperature sensing of nitric oxide using SnO2/Ni-decorated natural cellulosic graphene nanohybrid film
In recent years, metal oxide nanoparticles and their composites with graphene have received significant research attention in toxic gas sensor applications. Herein, we demonstrate a novel approach to develop a sensor by combining SnO2 nanoparticles and Ni-decorated natural cellulosic graphene (Ni-NCG) derived from lotus petals to form SnO2/Ni-NCG nanohybrid. The morphology, microstructure and elemental composition of the nanohybrids were investigated by a number of techniques which confirmed presence of nanometer sized SnO2 particles having large surface area on sheets of few layered Ni-decorated NCG. Upto 15% response was observed when exposed to 40 ppm of NO with high reproducibility at temperature as low as 60 °C which is remarkable when compared to previously reported SnO2 based NO sensors operating at high temperatures (~ 200 °C or more). Further, the nanohybrid showed excellent selectivity to NO when tested against other gases. A mechanism have been proposed for the improved sensitivity at low temperature based on the improved surface area of SnO2 nanoparticles leading to larger adsorption of gas molecules combined with an improved conduction of charges provided by the Ni-decorated NCG network. The results show enormous potential for the SnO2/Ni-NCG nanohybrid film as near room temperature NO sensor.
We thank Prof. A K Raychaudhuri of SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata for some of the characterization facilities and fruitful discussions. We also thank Dr. A Singha of Bose Institute, Kolkata for the Raman analysis. AKC acknowledges the facilities of the MHRD (TEQIP-II) funded “Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials” at NIT Durgapur.
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