Silicene as a highly sensitive molecule sensor for NH3, NO and NO2
On the basis of first-principles calculations, we demonstrate the potential application of silicene as a highly sensitive molecule sensor for NH3, NO, and NO2 molecules. NH3, NO and NO2 molecules chemically adsorb on silicene via strong chemical bonds. With distinct charge transfer from silicene to molecules, silicene and chemisorbed molecules form charge-transfer complexes. The adsorption energy and charge transfer in NO2-adsorbed silicene are larger than those of NH3- and NO-adsorbed silicones. Depending on the adsorbate types and concentrations, the silicene-based charge-transfer complexes exhibit versatile electronic properties with tunable band gap opening at the Dirac point of silicene. The calculated charge carrier concentrations of NO2-chemisorbed silicene are 3 orders of magnitude larger than intrinsic charge carrier concentration of graphene at room temperature. The results present a great potential of silicene for application as a highly sensitive molecule sensor.