Development of a potential LPG sensor based on a PANI–Co3O4 nanocomposite that functions at room temperature†
Nanostructured Co3O4 was synthesized by a sol–gel technique while 30% & 40% Co3O4–PANI (polyaniline) nanocomposites were successfully prepared employing an in situ polymerization technique. Various characterization techniques were utilized to examine the structural, spectroscopic, topographical, elemental and chemical features of the nanostructured Co3O4 and Co3O4–PANI nanocomposites utilizing XRD, FTIR, SEM and EDX respectively. The crystallite sizes of Co3O4, 30% Co3O4–PANI and 40% Co3O4–PANI were calculated, with the aid of XRD patterns, to be 41, 30 and 22 nm, respectively. By scrutinizing the SEM results of all the materials, a nearly spherical morphology was perceived. Numerous pores were also observed in their surface morphology which shows that the prepared materials are highly advantageous for gas sensing. Further, the materials were utilized for LPG sensing. Significant parameters of LPG sensing such as response time, recovery time, sensitivity and reproducibility were calculated for both materials. LPG sensing studies indicate that the 40% Co3O4–PANI nanocomposite, which exhibits lower response and recovery times, i.e. 10 s and 32 s, might be an efficient and potential material for use as an LPG sensor.