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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2017, Article ID 4859863, 7 pages
Research Article

Snowflake-Shaped ZnO Nanostructures-Based Gas Sensor for Sensitive Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds

1Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of the Ministry of Education, Department of Micro-/Nano-Electronics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2College of Chemistry and Material Engineering, Chaohu University, Chaohu, Anhui 238000, China
3Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Solids, Ministry of Education, Center for Nano Science and Technology, College of Chemistry and Materials Science, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, China
4Nanomaterials and Environment Detection Laboratory, Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230031, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jinjin Li; moc.liamg@scisyhp.nijnijil

Received 4 October 2016; Accepted 15 January 2017; Published 7 February 2017

Academic Editor: Veer P. S. Awana

Copyright © 2017 Tianli Han et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been considered severe risks to human health. Gas sensors for the sensitive detection of VOCs are highly required. However, the preparation of gas-sensing materials with a high gas diffusion performance remains a great challenge. Here, through a simple hydrothermal method accompanied with a subsequent thermal treatment, a special porous snowflake-shaped ZnO nanostructure was presented for sensitive detection of VOCs including diethyl ether, methylbenzene, and ethanol. The fabricated gas sensors exhibit a good sensing performance including high responses to VOCs and a short response/recovery time. The responses of the ZnO-based gas sensor to 100 ppm ethanol, methylbenzene, and diethyl ether are about 27, 21, and 11, respectively, while the response times to diethyl ether and methylbenzene are less than 10 seconds. The gas adsorption-desorption kinetics is also investigated, which shows that the gas-sensing behaviors to different target gases are remarkably different, making it possible for target recognition in practical applications.