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NiO/NiWO4 Composite Yolk–Shell Spheres with Nanoscale NiO Outer Layer for Ultrasensitive and Selective Detection of Subppm-level p‑Xylene

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journal contribution
posted on 29.08.2017 by Tae-Hyung Kim, Chang-Hoon Kwak, Jong-Heun Lee
NiO/NiWO4 composite yolk–shell spheres with a nanoscale NiO outer layer were prepared using one-pot ultrasonic spray pyrolysis and their gas sensing characteristics were studied. The NiO/NiWO4 yolk–shell spheres exhibited an extremely high response to 5 ppm p-xylene (ratio of resistance to gas and air = 343.5) and negligible cross-responses to 5 ppm ethanol, ammonia, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and benzene, whereas pure NiO yolk–shell spheres showed very low responses and selectivity to all the analyte gases. The detection limit for p-xylene was as low as 22.7 ppb. This ultrasensitive and selective detection of p-xylene is attributed to a synergistic catalytic effect between NiO and NiWO4, high gas accessibility with large specific surface area, and increased chemiresistive variation due to the formation of a heterojunction. The NiO/NiWO4 yolk–shell spheres with a thin NiO outer layer can be used to detect subppm-level p-xylene in a highly sensitive and selective manner for monitoring indoor air pollution.