American Chemical Society
ja2c13160_si_001.pdf (4.43 MB)

Zeolites as a Class of Semiconductors for High-Performance Electrically Transduced Sensing

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-22, 21:06 authored by Tianshuang Wang, Yueying Chu, Xiao Li, Yinghao Liu, Hao Luo, Donglei Zhou, Feng Deng, Xiaowei Song, Geyu Lu, Jihong Yu
Zeolites are widely used as catalysts and adsorbents in the chemical industry, but their potential for electronic devices has been stunted to date, as they are commonly recognized as electronic insulators. Here, we have for the first time demonstrated that Na-type ZSM-5 zeolites are ultrawide-direct-band-gap semiconductors based on optical spectroscopy, variable-temperature current–voltage characteristics, and photoelectric effect as well as electronic structure theoretical calculations and further unraveled the band-like charge transport mechanism in electrically conductive zeolites. The increase in charge-compensating Na+ cations in Na-ZSM-5 decreases the band gap and affects its density of states, shifting the Fermi level close to the conduction band. Remarkably, the semiconducting Na-ZSM-5 zeolites have been first applied for constructing electrically transduced sensors that can sense trace-level (77 ppb) ammonia with unprecedentedly high sensitivity, negligible cross-sensitivity, and high stability under moisture ambient conditions compared with conventional semiconducting materials and conductive metal–organic frameworks (MOFs). The charge density difference shows that the massive electron transfer between NH3 molecules and Na+ cations ascribed to Lewis acid sites enables electrically transduced chemical sensing. This work opens a new era of zeolites in applications of sensing, optics, and electronics.