Significant improvement in the acetone sensing performance of Ag-decorated ZnO porous nanosheets through defect engineering by Li-ion implantation

Minkyung Lee, Hyun Sook Lee, Min Young Kim, Kyu Hyoung Lee, Wooyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Defect engineering by Li-ion implantation has been extensively studied in electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, and energy storage devices. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that Li-ion implantation improves the acetone sensing performance of ZnO-based sensors. The morphological structure of the solvothermally synthesized Ag-decorated ZnO porous nanosheets (Ag-ZnO PNSs) was controlled by Li-ion insertion/extraction at various discharge voltages. The generation of nanocracks caused by the electrochemical reaction between ZnO and Li significantly improved the sensing performance. The nanocracked Ag-ZnO PNSs had a much higher sensing response (∼319) to 10 ppm acetone than the ZnO nanoparticles, bare ZnO PNSs, and bare Ag-ZnO PNSs. At the optimum operating temperature of 400 °C, the low detection limit was 0.1 ppm. The significant improvement in the acetone sensing performance of nanocracked sample is attributed to the simultaneous increase in oxygen vacancies and specific surface area, as well as the Ag catalytic effect. Furthermore, the nanocrack structures were found to be stable even after repeated measurements at high temperatures. Our research found that Li-ion implantation is an effective method for improving the gas sensing performance of metal oxide-based sensors, and that nanocracked Ag-ZnO PNSs can be a promising candidate material for use as acetone sensor applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132671
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (‘ 20013621 ’, Center for Super Critical Material Industrial Technology) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea), the Basic Science Research Program ( 2017M3A9F1052297 ), and the Priority Research Centers Program ( 2019R1A6A1A11055660 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Korean Government (Ministry of Science and ICT). H.-S. Lee gratefully acknowledges the support from the Basic Research in Science and Engineering Program of the NRF ( 2021R1A2C1013690 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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