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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 127345, 9 pages
Research Article

Pd-Doped SnO2-Based Sensor Detecting Characteristic Fault Hydrocarbon Gases in Transformer Oil

1State Key Laboratory of Power Transmission Equipment & System Security and New Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400030, China
2Electric Operations and Control Centers, Chengdu Power Supply Company, Chengdu 610017, China

Received 7 December 2012; Revised 11 January 2013; Accepted 14 January 2013

Academic Editor: Ming-Guo Ma

Copyright © 2013 Weigen Chen 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.


Methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), ethylene (C2H4), and acetylene (C2C2) are important fault characteristic hydrocarbon gases dissolved in power transformer oil. Online monitoring these gaseous components and their generation rates can present the operational state of power transformer timely and effectively. Gas sensing technology is the most sticky and tricky point in online monitoring system. In this paper, pure and Pd-doped SnO2 nanoparticles were synthesized by hydrothermal method and characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, respectively. The gas sensors were fabricated by side-heated preparation, and their gas sensing properties against CH4, C2H6, C2H4, and C2H2 were measured. Pd doping increases the electric conductance of the prepared SnO2 sensors and improves their gas sensing performances to hydrocarbon gases. In addition based on the frontier molecular orbital theory, the highest occupied molecular orbital energy and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy were calculated. Calculation results demonstrate that C2H4 has the highest occupied molecular orbital energy among CH4, C2H6, C2H4, and C2H2, which promotes charge transfer in gas sensing process, and SnO2 surfaces capture a relatively larger amount of electric charge from adsorbed C2H4.