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1.  Nanostructures for sensors, electronics, energy and environment 
PMCID: PMC3388358  PMID: 23016138
2.  Highly NO2 sensitive caesium doped graphene oxide conductometric sensors 
Here we report on the synthesis of caesium doped graphene oxide (GO-Cs) and its application to the development of a novel NO2 gas sensor. The GO, synthesized by oxidation of graphite through chemical treatment, was doped with Cs by thermal solid-state reaction. The samples, dispersed in DI water by sonication, have been drop-casted on standard interdigitated Pt electrodes. The response of both pristine and Cs doped GO to NO2 at room temperature is studied by varying the gas concentration. The developed GO-Cs sensor shows a higher response to NO2 than the pristine GO based sensor due to the oxygen functional groups. The detection limit measured with GO-Cs sensor is ≈90 ppb.
PMCID: PMC4143126  PMID: 25161842
caesium; conductometric; doping; drop casting; gas sensor; graphene oxide; highly sensitive; nitrogen dioxide
3.  Encapsulation of nanoparticles into single-crystal ZnO nanorods and microrods 
One-dimensional single crystal incorporating functional nanoparticles of other materials could be an interesting platform for various applications. We studied the encapsulation of nanoparticles into single-crystal ZnO nanorods by exploiting the crystal growth of ZnO in aqueous solution. Two types of nanodiamonds with mean diameters of 10 nm and 40 nm, respectively, and polymer nanobeads with size of 200 nm have been used to study the encapsulation process. It was found that by regrowing these ZnO nanorods with nanoparticles attached to their surfaces, a full encapsulation of nanoparticles into nanorods can be achieved. We demonstrate that our low-temperature aqueous solution growth of ZnO nanorods do not affect or cause degradation of the nanoparticles of either inorganic or organic materials. This new growth method opens the way to a plethora of applications combining the properties of single crystal host and encapsulated nanoparticles. We perform micro-photoluminescence measurement on a single ZnO nanorod containing luminescent nanodiamonds and the spectrum has a different shape from that of naked nanodiamonds, revealing the cavity effect of ZnO nanorod.
PMCID: PMC3999869  PMID: 24778975
crystal growth; encapsulation; nanoparticles; photoluminescence; ZnO nanorods
4.  Low-temperature synthesis of carbon nanotubes on indium tin oxide electrodes for organic solar cells 
The electrical performance of indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass was improved by including a controlled layer of carbon nanotubes directly on top of the ITO film. Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition, using ultrathin Fe layers as catalyst. The process parameters (temperature, gas flow and duration) were carefully refined to obtain the appropriate size and density of MWCNTs with a minimum decrease of the light harvesting in the cell. When used as anodes for organic solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), the MWCNT-enhanced electrodes are found to improve the charge-carrier extraction from the photoactive blend, thanks to the additional percolation paths provided by the CNTs. The work function of as-modified ITO surfaces was measured by the Kelvin probe method to be 4.95 eV, resulting in an improved matching to the highest occupied molecular orbital level of the P3HT. This is in turn expected to increase the hole transport and collection at the anode, contributing to the significant increase of current density and open-circuit voltage observed in test cells created with such MWCNT-enhanced electrodes.
PMCID: PMC3458597  PMID: 23019547
carbon nanotubes; electrode; indium tin oxide; Kelvin probe; organic photovoltaics
5.  Ultraviolet photodetection of flexible ZnO nanowire sheets in polydimethylsiloxane polymer 
ZnO nanowires are normally exposed to an oxygen atmosphere to achieve high performance in UV photodetection. In this work we present results on a UV photodetector fabricated using a flexible ZnO nanowire sheet embedded in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a gas-permeable polymer, showing reproducible UV photoresponse and enhanced photoconduction. PDMS coating results in a reduced response speed compared to that of a ZnO nanowire film in air. The rising speed is slightly reduced, while the decay time is prolonged by about a factor of four. We conclude that oxygen molecules diffusing in PDMS are responsible for the UV photoresponse.
PMCID: PMC3388359  PMID: 23016139
permeable polymer; photoresponse; polydimethylsiloxane; UV photodetection; ZnO nanowires
6.  Functionalised zinc oxide nanowire gas sensors: Enhanced NO2 gas sensor response by chemical modification of nanowire surfaces 
Surface coating with an organic self-assembled monolayer (SAM) can enhance surface reactions or the absorption of specific gases and hence improve the response of a metal oxide (MOx) sensor toward particular target gases in the environment. In this study the effect of an adsorbed organic layer on the dynamic response of zinc oxide nanowire gas sensors was investigated. The effect of ZnO surface functionalisation by two different organic molecules, tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (THMA) and dodecanethiol (DT), was studied. The response towards ammonia, nitrous oxide and nitrogen dioxide was investigated for three sensor configurations, namely pure ZnO nanowires, organic-coated ZnO nanowires and ZnO nanowires covered with a sparse layer of organic-coated ZnO nanoparticles. Exposure of the nanowire sensors to the oxidising gas NO2 produced a significant and reproducible response. ZnO and THMA-coated ZnO nanowire sensors both readily detected NO2 down to a concentration in the very low ppm range. Notably, the THMA-coated nanowires consistently displayed a small, enhanced response to NO2 compared to uncoated ZnO nanowire sensors. At the lower concentration levels tested, ZnO nanowire sensors that were coated with THMA-capped ZnO nanoparticles were found to exhibit the greatest enhanced response. ΔR/R was two times greater than that for the as-prepared ZnO nanowire sensors. It is proposed that the ΔR/R enhancement in this case originates from the changes induced in the depletion-layer width of the ZnO nanoparticles that bridge ZnO nanowires resulting from THMA ligand binding to the surface of the particle coating. The heightened response and selectivity to the NO2 target are positive results arising from the coating of these ZnO nanowire sensors with organic-SAM-functionalised ZnO nanoparticles.
PMCID: PMC3388361  PMID: 23016141
gas sensor; nanowire; tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane; self-assembled monolayer; zinc oxide

Results 1-6 (6)