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A selective ethanol gas sensor based on spray-derived Ag–ZnO thin films

Tarwal, N. L., Rajgure, A. V., Patil, J. Y., Khandekar, M. S., Suryavanshi, S. S., Patil, P. S., Gang, M. G., Kim, J. H., Jang, J. H.
Journal of materials science 2013 v.48 no.20 pp. 7274-7282
X-ray diffraction, aqueous solutions, cost effectiveness, crystal structure, ethanol, glass, nanosilver, pyrolysis, scanning electron microscopy, silver nitrate, zinc acetate, zinc oxide
A simple and cost-effective spray pyrolysis technique was employed to synthesize silver-doped zinc oxide (Ag–ZnO) thin films on the glass substrates from aqueous solutions of zinc acetate and silver nitrate precursors at 450 °C. The effects of Ag doping on structural, morphological, and gas-sensing properties of films were examined. The X-ray diffraction spectra of the Ag–ZnO films showed the polycrystalline nature having hexagonal crystal structure. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the pure ZnO films revealed the uniform distribution of the spherical grains (~80 nm size). Tiny Ag nanoparticles are clearly visualized in the SEM of Ag–ZnO films. The investigation of the effect of Ag doping on the gas-sensing properties of the Ag–ZnO revealed that the 15 % Ag-doped ZnO sample has the highest gas sensitivity (85 %) and excessive Ag doping in ZnO degraded the gas sensitivity. A possible mechanism of Ag–ZnO-based sensor sensitivity to the target gas is also proposed.