High-Performance Photoelectronic Sensor Using Mesostructured ZnO Nanowires

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College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
§ Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, United States
Cite this: ACS Sens. 2017, 2, 11, 1567–1572
Publication Date (Web):October 19, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.7b00477
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Semiconductor photoelectrodes that simultaneously possess rapid charge transport and high surface area are highly desirable for efficient charge generation and collection in photoelectrochemical devices. Herein, we report mesostructured ZnO nanowires (NWs) that not only demonstrate a surface area as high as 50.7 m2/g, comparable to that of conventional nanoparticles (NPs), but also exhibit a 100 times faster electron transport rate than that in NP films. Moreover, using the comparison between NWs and NPs as an exploratory platform, we show that the synergistic effect between rapid charge transport and high surface area leads to a high performance photoelectronic formaldehyde sensor that exhibits a detection limit of as low as 5 ppb and a response of 1223% (at 10 ppm), which are, respectively, over 100 times lower and 20 times higher than those of conventional NPs-based device. Our work establishes a foundational pathway toward a better photoelectronic system by materials design.

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  • Detailed description of experimental methods; SEM, TEM images, and XRD patterns; Current–time curves and photocurrent responses (PDF)

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