Hybrid Noble-Metals/Metal-Oxide Bifunctional Nano-Heterostructure Displaying Outperforming Gas-Sensing and Photochromic Performances
2018-08-24T08:13:27Z (GMT) by
As nanomaterials are dominating 21st century’s scene, multiple functionality in a single (nano)structure is becoming very appealing. Inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun, we designed a bifunctional (gas-sensor/photochromic) nanomaterial, made with TiO2 whose surface was simultaneously decorated with copper and silver (the Cu/Ag molar ratio being 3:1). This nanomaterial outperformed previous state-of-the-art TiO2-based sensors for the detection of acetone, as well as the Cu–TiO2-based photochromic material. It indeed possessed splendid sensitivity toward acetone (detection limit of 100 ppb, 5 times lower than previous state-of-the-art TiO2-based acetone sensors), as well as reduced response/recovery times at very low working temperature, 150 °C, for acetone sensing. Still, the same material showed itself to be able to (reversibly) change in color when stimulated by both UV-A and, most remarkably, visible light. Indeed, the visible-light photochromic performance was almost 3 times faster compared to the standard Cu–TiO2 photochromic materialthat is, 4.0 min versus 10.8 min, respectively. It was eventually proposed that the photochromic behavior was triggered by different mechanisms, depending on the light source used.