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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 297676, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/297676
Research Article

Preparation, Characterization, and Mechanistic Understanding of Pd-Decorated ZnO Nanowires for Ethanol Sensing

1MicroNano System Research Center, College of Information Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030024, China
2Key Lab of Advanced Transducers and Intelligent Control System of the Ministry of Education, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030024, China
3College of Physics and Optoelectronics, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030024, China

Received 5 October 2013; Accepted 2 December 2013

Academic Editor: Sheng-Rui Jian

Copyright © 2013 Xiao Deng 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.

Abstract

ZnO nanowires (ZnO-NWs) and Pd-decorated ZnO nanowires (Pd-ZnO-NWs) were prepared by hydrothermal growth and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). When used for gas sensing, both types of nanowires showed a good selectivity to ethanol but a higher sensitivity and lower operating temperature were found with Pd-ZnO-NWs sensors comparing to those of ZnO-NWs sensor. When exposed to 200 ppm ethanol, our ZnO-NWs sensor showed a sensitivity of about 2.69 at 425°C whereas 1.3 at. % Pd-ZnO-NWs sensor provided a 57% more detection sensibility at 325°C. In addition, both response and recovery times of Pd-ZnO-NWs sensors were significantly reduced (9 s) comparing to the ZnO-NWs. Finally, Pd-ZnO-NWs sensor also showed a much lower detection limit of about 1 ppm. The sensing mechanism of Pd-ZnO-NWs sensors has also been clarified, thereby providing a new perspective for further improvement of the sensing performance of ethanol sensors.