Dendritic fibrous nano-silica & titania (DFNST) spheres as novel cataluminescence sensing materials for the detection of diethyl ether†
Selective and controllable cataluminescence (CTL) sensors for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are significant for chemical safety, environmental monitoring, health effects on human beings, and so forth. Most of the exploited CTL-based sensors suffer relatively low response and poor selectivity because of their high sensitivities to interferential substances. In this investigation, dendritic fibrous nano-silica & titania (DFNST) spheres have been synthesized as novel sensing materials and the corresponding DFNST-based CTL sensor has been fabricated to detect diethyl ether with high selectivity via a method of utilizing one 440 nm bandpass filter. The as-prepared DFNST hybrids not only keep the excellent dendritic fibrous morphology but also bear ca. 21 wt% catalytic titanium oxide of anatase crystalline structure. The DFNST-based sensor exhibits extremely strong CTL emission at 440 nm toward diethyl ether against other VOCs like acetone, ethyl acetate, butanol, and so forth. The high response can be attributed to the unique architectural texture of DFNST. Under the optimum parameters, ether could be easily detected in a wide range from 2.0 to 40.0 mM with a fine detection limit of 1.55 mM (S/N = 3). Furthermore, the working life of this CTL sensor is satisfactory with outstanding stability and durability, far from damaging the morphology and activity of the DFNST sensing material. In conclusion, it is expected that this novel sensing material, the relevant CTL sensor, and the approach of employing the bandpass filter will be significant for the detection of diethyl ether in actual applications.