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Ultra-sensitive NH3 sensor based on flower-shaped SnS2 nanostructures with sub-ppm detection ability

Xiong, Ya, Xu, Wangwang, Ding, Degong, Lu, Wenbo, Zhu, Lei, Zhu, Zongye, Wang, Ying, Xue, Qingzhong
Journal of hazardous materials 2018 v.341 pp. 159-167
acetone, adsorption, ammonia, carbon dioxide, density functional theory, desorption, ethanol, hydrogen, methane, nanoflowers, nanosheets, oxygen, physical properties
Layered metal dichalcogenides (LMDs) semiconducting materials have recently attracted tremendous attention as high performance gas sensors due to unique chemical and physical properties of thin layers. Here, three-dimensional SnS2 nanoflower structures assembled with thin nanosheets were synthesized via a facile solvothermal process. When applied to detect 100ppm NH3 at 200°C, the SnS2 based sensor exhibited high response value of 7.4, short response/recovery time of 40.6s/624s. Moreover, the sensor demonstrated a low detection limit of 0.5ppm NH3 and superb selectivity to NH3 against CO2, CH4, H2, ethanol and acetone. The excellent performance is attributed to the unique thin layers assembled flower-like nanoarchitecture, which facilitates both the carrier charge transfer process and the adsorption/desorption reaction. More importantly, it was found that the sensor response enhanced with increasing oxygen content in background and was improved by 3.57 times with oxygen content increasing from 0 to 40%. The increased response is owing to the enhanced binding energies between SnS2 and NH3 moleculers. Theoretically, density functional theory was employed to reveal the NH3 adsorption mechanism in different background oxygen contents, which opens a new horizon for LMD based structures applied in various gas sensing fields.