Tungsten trioxide (WO3) is one of the important multifunctional materials used for photocatalytic, photoelectrochemical, battery, and gas sensor applications. Nanostructured WO3 holds great potential for enhancing the performance of these applications. Here, we report highly sensitive NO 2 sensors using WO3 nanolamellae and their sensitivity improvement by morphology control using SnO2 nanoparticles. WO 3 nanolamellae were synthesized by an acidification method starting from Na2WO4 and H2SO4 and subsequent calcination at 300 °C. The lamellae were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which clearly showed the formation of single-crystalline nanolamellae with a c-axis orientation. The stacking of each nanolamella to form larger lamellae that were 50-250 nm in lateral size and 15-25 nm in thickness was also revealed. From pore size distribution measurements, we found that introducing monodisperse SnO2 nanoparticles (ca. 4 nm) into WO3 lamella-based films improved their porosity, most likely because of effective insertion of nanoparticles into lamella stacks or in between assemblies of lamella stacks. In contrast, the crystallite size was not significantly changed, even by introducing SnO2. Because of the improvement in porosity, the composites of WO3 nanolamellae and SnO2 nanoparticles displayed enhanced sensitivity (sensor response) to NO2 at dilute concentrations of 20-1000 ppb in air, demonstrating the effectiveness of microstructure control of WO3 lamella-based films for highly sensitive NO2 detection. Electrical sensitization by SnO2 nanoparticles was also considered.
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