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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2009, Article ID 402174, 19 pages
Review Article

Fabrication of Nanotube Thin Films and Their Gas Sensing Properties

State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructures, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1295 Dingxi Road, Shanghai 200050, China

Received 3 January 2009; Accepted 28 May 2009

Academic Editor: Giorgio Sberveglieri

Copyright © 2009 Yongxiang Li 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.


The fabrication process and the growth mechanism of titanium/titania nanotubes prepared by anodization process is reviewed, and their applications in the fields of dye sensitized solar cells, photocatalysts, electrochromic devices, gas sensors, and biomaterials are presented. The anodization of Ti thin films on different substrates and the growth process of anodic titanium oxide are described using the current-time curves. Special attention is paid on the influences of the initial film smoothness on the resulted nanoporous morphologies. The “threshold barrier layer thickness model” is used to discuss the growth mechanism. As a case study for gas sensing, anodized highly ordered nanotube arrays and nanoporous thin films that show porous surface with an average diameter of 25 nm and interpore distance of 40 nm were prepared. Gas sensors based on such nanotube arrays and nanoporous thin films were fabricated, and their sensing properties were investigated. Excellent gas sensing properties were obtained for sensors prepared from these highly ordered nanotube arrays, which present stable response even at a low operating temperature of . Based on our experimental results, “H-induced desorption” mechanism was used for explaining the hydrogen gas sensing mechanism.