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Oxygen Vacancy Defects Boosted High Performance p‑Type Delafossite CuCrO2 Gas Sensors

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-09-12, 00:00 authored by Bin Tong, Zanhong Deng, Bo Xu, Gang Meng, Jingzhen Shao, Hongyu Liu, Tiantian Dai, Xueyan Shan, Weiwei Dong, Shimao Wang, Shu Zhou, Ruhua Tao, Xiaodong Fang
p-type ternary oxides can be extensively explored as alternative sensing channels to binary oxides with diverse structural and compositional versatilities. Seeking a novel approach to magnify their sensitivities toward gas molecules, e.g., volatile organic compounds (VOCs), will definitely expand their applications in the frontier area of healthcare and air-quality monitoring. In this work, delafossite CuCrO2 (CCO) nanoparticles with different grain sizes have been utilized as p-type ternary oxide sensors. It was found that singly ionized oxygen vacancies (Vo) defects, compared with the grain size of CCO nanoparticles, play an important role in enhancing the charge exchange at the VOCs molecules/CCO interface. In addition to suppressing the hole concentration of the sensor channel, the unpaired electron trapped in Vo provides an active site for chemisorptions of environmental oxygen and VOCs molecules. The synergetic effect is responsible for the observed increase of sensitivity. Furthermore, the sensitive (Vo defect-rich) CCO sensor exhibits good reproducibility and stability under a moderate operation temperature (<325 °C). Our work highlights that Vo defects, created via either in situ synthesis or postannealing treatment, could be explored to rationally boost the performance of p-type ternary oxide sensors.

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