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1.  Enhanced Dibutyl Phthalate Sensing Performance of a Quartz Crystal Microbalance Coated with Au-Decorated ZnO Porous Microspheres 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2015;15(9):21153-21168.
Noble metals addition on nanostructured metal oxides is an attractive way to enhance gas sensing properties. Herein, hierarchical zinc oxide (ZnO) porous microspheres decorated with cubic gold particles (Au particles) were synthesized using a facile hydrothermal method. The as-prepared Au-decorated ZnO was then utilized as the sensing film of a gas sensor based on a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). This fabricated sensor was applied to detect dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is a widely used plasticizer, and its coating load was optimized. When tested at room temperature, the sensor exhibited a high sensitivity of 38.10 Hz/ppb to DBP in a low concentration range from 2 ppb to 30 ppb and the calculated theoretical detection limit is below 1 ppb. It maintains good repeatability as well as long-term stability. Compared with the undecorated ZnO based QCM, the Au-decorated one achieved a 1.62-time enhancement in sensitivity to DBP, and the selectivity was also improved. According to the experimental results, Au-functionalized ZnO porous microspheres displayed superior sensing performance towards DBP, indicating its potential use in monitoring plasticizers in the gaseous state. Moreover, Au decoration of porous metal oxide nanostructures is proved to be an effective approach for enhancing the gas sensing properties and the corresponding mechanism was investigated.
doi:10.3390/s150921153
PMCID: PMC4610551  PMID: 26343661
ZnO porous microspheres; Au-decorated; dibutyl phthalate; gas sensor; quartz crystal microbalance (QCM)
2.  Template Free Synthesis of Hollow Ball-Like Nano-Fe2O3 and Its Application to the Detection of Dimethyl Methylphosphonate at Room Temperature 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(4):4594-4604.
This paper is focused on the template-free synthesis of nanosized ferric oxide (nano-Fe2O3) and its application in quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) resonators to detect dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), a simulant of Sarin. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns confirm that the synthesized samples are made of Fe2O3 and the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) pictures show that the samples have ball-like shapes. The DMMP sensors with a sensing film of hollow ball-like and solid ball-like Fe2O3 are fabricated and their sensing characteristics are compared. The sensitivity of the hollow ball-like Fe2O3 sensor is more than 500% higher than the one of the solid ball-like Fe2O3 sensor. The hollow ball-like nano-Fe2O3 can be synthesized by a novel low temperature hydrothermal method. The sensors with the hollow ball-like Fe2O3 film perform well in a range of 1 to 6 ppm, with a sensitivity of 29 Hz/ppm at room temperature, while the appropriate recoverability and selectivity are maintained. In addition, the performance of different thicknesses of the sensing film of the hollow ball-like nano-Fe2O3 is investigated and the optimized relative film thickness of the hollow ball-like nano-Fe2O3 is found to be 20 μg/mm2.
doi:10.3390/s120404594
PMCID: PMC3355429  PMID: 22666047
nano-Fe2O3; quartz crystal microbalance (QCM); dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP); gas sensor

Results 1-2 (2)