Design of highly sensitive and selective Au@NiO yolk-shell nanoreactors for gas sensor applications.

PMID 24933405


Au@NiO yolk-shell nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized by simple solution route and applied for efficient gas sensor towards H₂S gas. Carbon encapsulated Au (Au@C core-shell) NPs were synthesized by glucose-assisted hydrothermal method, whereas Au@NiO yolk-shell NPs were synthesized by precipitation method using Au@C core-shell NPs as a template. Sub-micrometer Au@NiO yolk-shell NPs were formed having 50-70 nm Au NPs at the periphery of NiO shell (10-20 nm), which was composed of 6-12 nm primary NiO particles. Au@NiO yolk-shell NPs showed higher response for H2S compared to other interfering gases (ethanol, p-xylene, NH₃, CO and H₂). The maximum response was 108.92 for 5 ppm of H₂S gas at 300 °C, which was approximately 19 times higher than that for the interfering gases. The response of Au@NiO yolk-shell NPs to H₂S was approximately 4 times higher than that of bare NiO hollow nanospheres. Improved performance of Au@NiO yolk-shell NPs was attributed to hollow spaces that allowed the accessibility of Au NPs to gas molecules. It was suggested that adsorption of H₂S on Au NPs resulted in the formation of sulfide layer, which possibly lowered its work function, and therefore tuned the electron transfer from Au to NiO rather NiO to Au, which leaded to increase in resistance and therefore response.