ZnO–PDMS Nanohybrids: A Novel Optical Sensing Platform for Ethanol Vapor Detection at Room Temperature


Klini, Argyro
Pissadakis, Stavros
Das, Rabindra N.
Giannelis, Emmanuel P.
Anastasiadis, Spiros H.
Anglos, Demetrios

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© 2014 American Chemical Society. A new optical gas sensor platform based on highly luminescent ZnO-polymer nanohybrids is demonstrated. The nanohybrids consist of ZnO nanoparticles, typically 125 (±25) nm in size, dispersed in an inert cross-linked polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix. Upon exposure to ethanol-enriched air at room temperature, the nanocomposites exhibit a clear increase in their photoluminescence (PL) emission, which shows a nearly Langmuir dependence on the alcohol vapor pressure. The response time is on the order of 50 s, particularly at low ethanol concentrations. The limit of ethanol vapor detection (LOD) is as low as 0.4 Torr, while the sensor remains unaffected by the presence of water vapor, demonstrating the potential of the ZnO-PDMS system as an optical gas sensing device. The interaction of the ZnO nanoparticles with molecular oxygen plays an essential role on the overall performance of the sensor, as shown in comparative experiments performed in the presence and absence of atmospheric air. Notably, O2 was found to be quite effective in accelerating the sensor recovery process compared to N2 or vacuum.

Klini A, Pissadakis S, Das RN, Giannelis EP, Anastasiadis SH, et al. (2015) ZnO–PDMS Nanohybrids: A Novel Optical Sensing Platform for Ethanol Vapor Detection at Room Temperature. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 119: 623–631. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp506632d.

This research was cofinanced by the European Union (European Social Fund-ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)-Research Funding Program: THALES, Projects: na(Z)nowire (MIS 380252) and Nanocomp (MIS 377278). E.P.G. acknowledges Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors are grateful to A. Manousaki and M. Androulidaki for carrying out SEM and cw PL studies, respectively, as well as to I. Kortidis for his help with the commercial ethanol probe. We acknowledge fruitful discussions with Prof. N. Chaniotakis (Department of Chemistry, Univsity of Crete).

American Chemical Society (ACS)

The Journal of Physical Chemistry C


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