Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Stable aqueous dispersions of ZnO nanoparticles for ink-jet printed gas sensors

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For the preparation of printed devices based on ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs), stable colloidal dispersions of these materials are highly desirable. ZnO NPs have been synthesized by Chemical Vapor Synthesis. The particles have a spherical shape with a narrow size distribution. Stable aqueous dispersions of the ZnO NPs have been successfully prepared after the addition of a polymeric stabilizer. These stable dispersions have been used to print ZnO NP films on interdigital gold structures on silicon by ink-jet printing. The printing parameters have been optimized for forming layers with high quality. Close-packed ZnO NP thin films with a thickness between 100-250 nm have been prepared. Impedance spectroscopy has been used to study the gas sensing properties of the printed films at different temperatures in air and in hydrogen. The impedance spectra show the semi-circles typical for semiconducting materials. The conductance of the printed films has been measured at room temperature with high accuracy. In hydrogen gas, the conductance is larger as expected and this behavior is reversible. © 2011 American Scientific Publishers.