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Issue 46, 2009
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A model for the response towards oxidizing gases of photoactivated sensors based on individual SnO2nanowires

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Abstract

The paper presents a quantitative model to elucidate the role of impinging photons on the final response towards oxidizing gases of light-activated metal oxide gas sensors. The model is based on the competition between oxygen molecules in air and oxidizing target gases (such as NO2) for the same adsorption sites: the surface oxygen vacancies (OV). The model fairly reproduces the experimental measurements of both the steady-state and the dynamic response of individual SnO2nanowires towards oxidizing gases. Quantitative results indicate that: (1) at room temperature NO2 adsorbs onto OV more avidly than oxygen; (2) the flux of photons and the NO2 concentration determine the partition of the two gas populations at the surface; and (3) the band-to-band generation of electron-hole pairs plays a significant role in the photodesorption process of gas molecules. The model also offers a methodology to estimate some fundamental parameters, such as the adsorption rates and the photodesorption cross sections of oxidizing molecules interacting with the nanowires’ surface. All these results, enabled by the use of individual nanowires, provide deep insight about how to control the response of metal oxide nanowires towards oxidizing gases, paving the way to the development and consolidation of this family of low consumption conductometric sensors operable at room temperature.

Graphical abstract: A model for the response towards oxidizing gases of photoactivated sensors based on individual SnO2nanowires

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Jul 2009, accepted on 16 Sep 2009 and first published on 14 Oct 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B915646A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009,11, 10881-10889
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    A model for the response towards oxidizing gases of photoactivated sensors based on individual SnO2nanowires

    J. D. Prades, R. Jimenez-Diaz, M. Manzanares, F. Hernandez-Ramirez, A. Cirera, A. Romano-Rodriguez, S. Mathur and J. R. Morante, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009, 11, 10881
    DOI: 10.1039/B915646A

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