Selective C2H2 detection with high sensitivity using SnO2 nanorod based gas sensors integrated with a gas chromatography

Jun Ho Lee, Min Sun Park, Hwaebong Jung, Yong Sahm Choe, Wonkyung Kim, Young Geun Song, Chong Yun Kang, Hyun Sook Lee, Wooyoung Lee

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35 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the sensitive and selective sensing properties of SnO2 nanorods (NRs) based gas sensors coupled with a miniature gas chromatography (mini-GC) system for the detection of acetylene. The SnO2 NRs were fabricated by a glancing angle deposition (GLAD) method and their average height and diameter were ∼200 nm and ∼30 nm, respectively. In order to overcome a selectivity issue of metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors, we integrated our SnO2 NRs based sensors with a packed column. The device accurately and selectively detected acetylene within 2 min (∼120 s). We found that loading a thin layer (5 nm) of metal catalysts such as Au, Pt or Pd increases the sensing abilities of the SnO2 NRs sensors. Among the tested sensors, the Pd-coated SnO2 NRs sensor (Pd-SnO2 NRs) exhibited the best sensing performance for the detection of 10 ppm of acetylene and the lower detection limit of 0.01 ppm. The superior sensing properties of Pd-SnO2 NRs are due to the large amount of oxygen deficiencies on the surface of Pd-SnO2 NRs, which acts as reactive sites. More importantly, the mini-GC device can be used to selectively detect 10 ppm of acetylene from other gases such as H2. Our findings demonstrate that Pd-SnO2 NRs integrated with a mini-GC device can be utilized to monitor the dissolved acetylene gas in transformer oil in real time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127598
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Medium and Large Complex Technology Commercialization Project through the Commercialization Promotion Agency for R&D Outcomes ( 2019K000045 ) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning , and the Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) ( 2019R1A6A1A11055660 ). Jun Ho Lee received a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Material Science and Engineering at Seoul National University in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Since 2017, he is working on development of miniaturized GC integrated with metal oxide based gas sensors as a researcher at Yonsei University. Min Sun Park received a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Sungkyunkwan University in 2017. Since 2018, she is working on development of the breath analyzer and miniaturized GC integrated with metal oxide based gas sensors as her Master’s degree at Yonsei University. Hwaebong Jung received a Bachelor’s degree in Material Science and Engineering at Yonsei University in 2012. He is currently studying on the breath analyzer using metal oxide based gas sensor as a step toward his Ph.D degree at Yonsei University. Yong-Sahm Choe is a CEO of iSenLab Inc. specialized for R&DB of breath analyzers. He received his B.S, M.S. and Ph. D degrees from the department of metallurgical engineering of Yonsei University in 1989, 1991, 1999, respectively and worked at TYM R&D institute from 1999 to 2011 in Korea. He developed oral malodor diagnosing devices, TWIN BREASOR and TWIN BREASOR II. His research interests are a development of breath analyzers utilizing semiconductor gas sensors and a miniaturization of gas chromato-graphy for breath analyzers. Wonkyung Kim was born in 1976 in Mokpo, Republic of Korea. He received a Ph. D. degree in Material Science and Engineering at Yonsei University in 2018. He has been a adjunct professor of School of Nano & Materials Science and Engineering at Kyungpook National University. In recent years, his research interests have centered on gas sensors. Young Geun Song received his B.S. form Pusan National University, Korea, in 2016. He is currently a Ph.D. course student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Korea University. His research interests include fabrication of metal oxide nanostructure, and chemical sensor applications. Chong-Yun Kang received his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering of Yonsei University in 2000. Now he is a Principal Research Scientist in KIST from 2000 and a professor of KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology in Korea University from 2012. His research interests include smart materials and devices, expecially, piezoelectric energy harvesting and actuators, electrocaloric effect materials, and nanostructured oxide semiconductor gas sensors. Hyun-sook Lee received her Ph.D. from the Department of Physics of POSTECH in 2008. Now she is a research professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of Yonsei University from 2015. Her research interests are various materials related in high-temperature superconductivity, solid-state hydrogen storage, rare-earth/rare-earth free permanent magnets, nanostructured metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors, and nanos-tructured thermoelectrics. Wooyoung Lee is the Dean of School of Materials Science and Engineering and the Director of Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Yonsei University in Korea. He received a BS degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1986, a MS degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Yonsei University in 1988. He received a Ph.D. degree in Physics from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom in 2000. He is a regular member of National Academy of Engineering of Korea. He was a member of National Science & Technology Council and a director in Korea Israel Industrial R&D Foundation. In recent years, his research interests have centered on hydrogen sensors, various metal oxide semiconducting gas sensors, and breath analyzers. He is also studying thermoelectric materials and devices, and permanent magnets. He has received a number of awards in nano-related research areas and a Service Merit Medal (2008) from the Government of Korea due to contribution on the development of intellectual properties. He has authored and co-authored over 200 publications, and has edited three special books on nano-structured materials and devices.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Acetylene gas sensor
  • Dissolved gas analysis
  • Metal catalyst
  • Miniaturized gas chromatography
  • SnO nanorod array
  • Transformer oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 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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