Enhanced room temperature gas sensing properties of low temperature solution processed ZnO/CuO heterojunction.BMC Chem 2019; 13(1):4BC
The development of room temperature gas sensors having response towards a specific gas is attracting researchers nowadays in the field. In the present work, room temperature (29 °C) ethanol sensor based on vertically aligned ZnO nanorods decorated with CuO nanoparticles was successfully fabricated by simple cost effective solution processing. The heterojunction sensor exhibits better sensor parameters compared to pristine ZnO. The response of the heterojunction sensor to 50 ppm ethanol is, at least, 2-fold higher than the response of the ZnO bare sensor. Also the response and recovery time of ZnO/CuO sensor to 50 ppm ethanol are of 9 and 420 s whereas the values are 16 and 510 s respectively for ZnO sensor. The vertical alignment of ZnO nanorods as well as its surface modification by CuO nanoparticles increased the effective surface area of the device and the formation of p-CuO/n-ZnO junction at the interface are the reasons for the improved performance at room temperature. In addition to ethanol, the fabricated device has the capability to detect the presence of reducing gases like hydrogen sulfide and ammonia at room temperature.