Synthesis and characterisation of nickel oxide nanofibre webs with alcohol sensing characteristics†
In this study, nickel oxide (NiO) nanofibres were obtained by a sol–gel electrospinning process followed by calcination from an aqueous sol of poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)/nickel acetate tetrahydrate. Thermogravimetric analysis was used to determine the degradation temperature of the composite fibres, so as to get nickel oxide nanofibres. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction studies revealed the complete elimination of the organic phase from NiO fibres during calcination. The change in grain size with calcination temperature was determined by X-ray diffraction. The defects in fibres resulted in the modification of their Raman spectra as compared with that of a single crystal. The magnetic properties of the fibres were reduced as the calcination temperature was increased; this is due to the presence of non-stoichiometric defects. As the calcination temperature was increased, the amount of defects was reduced, which induced a difference in the band gap energy of the fibres. Sensitivity of the NiO fibres towards five different alcohols was studied, and the sensitivity towards ethanol was the highest.