Investigating Organic Vapor Sensing Properties of Composite Carbon Nanotube-Zinc Oxide Nanowire

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Abstract

The low operating temperature of nanowire gas sensors along with their high surface-to-volume ratio are two factors that make gas sensors more practical. In this paper, the growth of ZnO nanowires on a vertically aligned CNT forest is reported. The utilized method for ZnO growth was a rapid microwave-assisted hydrothermal route, which facilitates low-temperature and ultra-fast fabrication. Organic vapor sensing properties of fabricated samples were studied in response to different alcoholic vapors at a wide operating temperature range of 25 to 300◦C. Enhancement of the gas response was observed with increasing operating temperature. Moreover, the effect of the ZnO nanowire length on organic vapor sensing properties of CNT-ZnO samples was investigated. Results proved that CNT-ZnO samples with long ZnO wires exhibit higher sensitivity to examined analytes. Different length ZnO nanowires were attained via variation of the microwave exposure time and power. Fabrication parameters were selected based on numerous runs. The length of ZnO synthesized at each distinct run was calculated based on SEM micrographs of the samples.