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Ultrathin Films of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: A Potential Methane Gas Sensor

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Due to unique electrical, mechanical and optical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), they find huge industrial application. For some device applications, CNTs need preferential alignment onto the solid substrates. Here we demonstrate a control over alignment of bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) during the ultrathin film fabrication on the solid substrates by Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) technique. During the LB film deposition process, the long axis of the SWCNTs are made to align either parallel or perpendicular to the direction of the electric field applied by a patterned interdigitated electrode (IDE). The current–voltage characterization of such films indicated a strong evidence of the parallel and perpendicular alignments of the SWCNTs between the IDE. The LB film of SWCNTs on the oxidized silicon substrate is employed to sense the methane (CH4) gas in dry and humid environments at the room temperature. The sensing capability of highly organized SWCNTs in the LB films is compared with that of randomly oriented SWCNTs in the drop cast film. The LB films of the SWCNTs show a step like response (contact potential difference) due to a change in the concentration of the CH4 gas molecules. Interestingly, the sensitivity in the humid condition was found to be significantly larger as compared to that in dry environment. The enhanced capability of LB film for sensing CH4 gas can be attributed to the aligned SWCNTs which may provide aligned adsorption sites for the gas molecules.
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Keywords: ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; LANGMUIR BLODGETT FILMS; METHANE GAS SENSING; SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; SINGLE-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2015

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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