Nano Research

, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 4215–4224 | Cite as

Ultrasensitive H2S gas sensors based on p-type WS2 hybrid materials

  • Georgies Alene Asres
  • José J. Baldoví
  • Aron Dombovari
  • Topias Järvinen
  • Gabriela Simone Lorite
  • Melinda Mohl
  • Andrey Shchukarev
  • Alejandro Pérez Paz
  • Lede Xian
  • Jyri-Pekka Mikkola
  • Anita Lloyd Spetz
  • Heli Jantunen
  • Ángel RubioEmail author
  • Krisztian KordásEmail author
Open Access
Research Article


Owing to their higher intrinsic electrical conductivity and chemical stability with respect to their oxide counterparts, nanostructured metal sulfides are expected to revive materials for resistive chemical sensor applications. Herein, we explore the gas sensing behavior of WS2 nanowire-nanoflake hybrid materials and demonstrate their excellent sensitivity (0.043 ppm-1) as well as high selectivity towards H2S relative to CO, NH3, H2, and NO (with corresponding sensitivities of 0.002, 0.0074, 0.0002, and 0.0046 ppm-1, respectively). Gas response measurements, complemented with the results of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis and first-principles calculations based on density functional theory, suggest that the intrinsic electronic properties of pristine WS2 alone are not sufficient to explain the observed high sensitivity towards H2S. A major role in this behavior is also played by O doping in the S sites of the WS2 lattice. The results of the present study open up new avenues for the use of transition metal disulfide nanomaterials as effective alternatives to metal oxides in future applications for industrial process control, security, and health and environmental safety.


WS2 nanowire nanoflake gas sensor H2O doping 



Funding received from Bio4Energy programme, Academy of Finland (projects Suplacat and ClintoxNP (No. 268944)), University of Oulu (More than Moore research community) and University of Oulu Graduate School (Infotech Oulu) is acknowledged. We acknowledge support from the EU (No. ERC-2016-AdG-694097 QSpec-NewMat) and the Basque Government “Grupos Consolidados UPV/EHU” (No. IT578-13). J. J. B. and L. D. X. thank the EU for the Marie Curie Fellowship (Nos. H2020-MSCA-IF-2016-751047 and H2020-MSCA-IF-2015-709382). A. P. P. thanks postdoctoral fellowship from the Spanish “Juan de la Cierva-incorporación” program (No. IJCI-2014-20147). We also would like to acknowledge Sami Saukko (Center of Microscopy and Nanotechnology, University of Oulu) for his assistance with TEM analyses. A. L. S. acknowledges the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linköping University (Faculty Grant SFO-Mat-LiU No. 2009-00971).

Supplementary material

12274_2018_2009_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.7 mb)
Ultrasensitive H2S gas sensors based on p-type WS2 hybrid materials


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© The author(s) 2018

Funding: Open access funding provided by Max Planck Society.

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgies Alene Asres
    • 1
  • José J. Baldoví
    • 2
    • 3
  • Aron Dombovari
    • 1
  • Topias Järvinen
    • 1
  • Gabriela Simone Lorite
    • 1
  • Melinda Mohl
    • 1
  • Andrey Shchukarev
    • 4
  • Alejandro Pérez Paz
    • 3
    • 5
  • Lede Xian
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jyri-Pekka Mikkola
    • 4
    • 6
  • Anita Lloyd Spetz
    • 1
    • 7
  • Heli Jantunen
    • 1
  • Ángel Rubio
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Krisztian Kordás
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Microelectronics Research Unit, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical EngineeringUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of MatterHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Nano-Bio Spectroscopy Group, European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF)Universidad del País Vasco, CFM SCIC-UPV/EHU-MPC DIPCSan SebastianSpain
  4. 4.Technical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chemical-Biological CentreUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  5. 5.School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, School of Physics and NanotechnologyYachay Tech UniversityUrcuquíEcuador
  6. 6.Industrial Chemistry & Reaction Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Johan Gadolin Process Chemistry CentreÅbo Akademi UniversityÅbo-TurkuFinland
  7. 7.Sensor and Actuator Systems, Department of Physics, Chemistry and BiologyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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