Gold Embedded Maghemite Hybrid Nanowires and Their Gas Sensing Properties

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7 (19), pp 10534–10540 (May 4, 2015)
By Na-Mei Li, Kai-Min Li, Shun Wang, Ke-Qin Yang, Li-Jie Zhang, Qing Chen* and Wei-Ming Zhang*
10.1021/acsami.5b02087, local fulltext

Well-defined gold embedded maghemite hybrid nanowires are synthesized, and their structures are fully characterized. They are composed of porous γ-Fe2O3 shells and embedded gold nanoparticles (3–10 nm), which is novel and very different from the conventional “surface decoration” configuration. These hybrid nanowires are produced by the de-alloying of Au–Fe alloy nanowires and subsequent heat treatment. The reaction mechanism is proposed and validated. The results of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and thermogravimetry techniques prove consistently that the Fe composition of Au–Fe alloy nanowires change to γ-FeOOH first and then to γ-Fe2O3. The embedded gold particles are help to enhance the gas response properties of the hybrid nanowires, which is attributed to the nano open-circuit Schottky junctions between γ-Fe2O3 and the Au nanoparticles. The gas sensing experiment data with high repeatability demonstrate that these hybrid nanowires are excellent sensing materials, especially for ethanol, and have shown both high selectivity and high sensitivity.

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