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Liquid assisted exfoliation of 2D hBN flakes and their dispersion in PEO to fabricate highly specific and stable linear humidity sensors

Abstract

A highly specific and sensitive linear humidity sensor has been fabricated using a dispersion of 2D hexagonal Boron Nitride (hBN) flakes in polyethylene oxide (PEO). Bulk hBN powder was exfoliated through liquid assisted mechanical exfoliation to achieve few layered 2D nano-flakes with thickness in range of 3-4 nm. PEO was used as the polymer matrix to disperse the hBN flakes evenly throughout the suspension. An interdigitated transducer (IDT) electrode pair fabricated through reverse offset printing using silver nanoparticles ink (AgNP’s) on a piezoelectric LiNbO3 substrate serves as the transducing portion of the sensor. Electrohydrodynamic atomization was used to spray a uniform thin film of the active material composite onto the sensor electrodes. All fabrication methods used are compatible with printed electronics approaches and are suitable for mass production. The sensors show excellent stability for up to 40 days of testing. The sensitivity of the near-linear sensors was ~24 kΩ/%RH that is better than most of the similar works. The sensors showed response and recovery times of 2.6 s and 2.8 s respectively. The selectivity of the sensors was tested by exposing the sensors to O2, N2, and CH4 gases in addition to humidity and the results showed no effect of other gases on the sensors output. The fabricated sensors based on 2D hBN/polymer composite can be employed in high end target specific applications requiring accurate and high performance humidity sensors.

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Oct 2017, accepted on 10 Jan 2018 and first published on 10 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TC04933A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Liquid assisted exfoliation of 2D hBN flakes and their dispersion in PEO to fabricate highly specific and stable linear humidity sensors

    M. Sajid, H. Kim, J. H. Lim and K. H. Choi, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TC04933A

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