We demonstrate that conductometric gas sensing at room temperature with SnO2 nanowires is enhanced by visible and supra bandgap UV irradiation when and only when the metal oxide nanowires are decorated with Ag nanoparticles (r < 20 nm); no enhancement is observed for the bare SnO2 case. We combine spectroscopic techniques with conductometric gas sensing to study the wavelength dependency of the sensors response, showing a strict correlation between the Ag loaded SnO2 optical absorption and its gas response as a function of irradiation wavelength. Our results lead to the hypothesis that the enhanced gas response under UV-vis light is the effect of plasmonic hot electrons populating the Ag nanoparticles surface. Finally we discuss the chemoresistive properties of Ag loaded SnO2 sensor in parallel with the theory of Plasmon-Driven Catalysis, to propose an interpretative framework that is coherent with the established paradigma of these two actually separated fields of study.
Camilla Baratto, Nicola Cattabiani, Maurizio Donarelli, Andrea Ponzoni, Dario Zappa, Elisabetta Comini, Guido Faglia, and Nicolò Bontempi, "Tin oxide nanowires decorated with Ag nanoparticles for plasmon-driven chemical sensing at room temperature (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10541, Photonic and Phononic Properties of Engineered Nanostructures VIII, 105411P (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290057.5751529207001.
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