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Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles decorated graphene for chemoresistive gas sensing: The particle size effects

Tung, Tran Thanh, Chien, Nguyen Viet, Van Duy, Nguyen, Van Hieu, Nguyen, Nine, Md Julker, Coghlan, Campbell J., Tran, Diana N.H., Losic, Dusan
Journal of colloid and interface science 2019 v.539 pp. 315-325
adsorption, ethanol, graphene, graphene oxide, iron oxides, magnetism, nanoparticles, nitrogen dioxide, particle size, surface interactions, vapors, volatile organic compounds
We report a synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles chemically immobilized onto reduced graphene oxide sheets (referred to as rGO-Fe3O4 NPs) as a gas and vapor sensing platform with precisely designed particle size of 5, 10 and 20 nm to explore their influence of particle size on sensing performance. The rGO-Fe3O4 NP sensors have been investigated their responses to different gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at part-per-million (ppm) levels. Results show that the Fe3O4 NPs with smaller size (5 and 10 nm) on the rGO surface led to a lower sensitivity, while particles of a size of 20 nm have a significant enhancement of sensitivity compared to the bare rGO sensor. The rGO-Fe3O4 NP20 sensor can detect trace amounts of NO2 gas and ethanol vapor at the 1 ppm and is highly selective to the NO2 and ethanol among other tested gases and VOCs, respectively. The particle size causes different distribution behaviour of NPs over rGO surface and interspaced between them, which results in deceased or increased the surface interactions between gas and graphene. The NPs themselves contained different defects level and the charge depletion layer that affect their adsorption gas/vapor molecules, which are explained for different sensing responses.