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Ni-doped TiO2 nanotubes for wide-range hydrogen sensing

Zhaohui Li1, Dongyan Ding1*, Qiang Liu1, Congqin Ning2 and Xuewu Wang3

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Microelectronic Materials and Technology, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

2 State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China

3 School of Information Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:118  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-118

Published: 13 March 2014


Doping of titania nanotubes is one of the efficient way to obtain improved physical and chemical properties. Through electrochemical anodization and annealing treatment, Ni-doped TiO2 nanotube arrays were fabricated and their hydrogen sensing performance was investigated. The nanotube sensor demonstrated a good sensitivity for wide-range detection of both dilute and high-concentration hydrogen atmospheres ranging from 50 ppm to 2% H2. A temperature-dependent sensing from 25°C to 200°C was also found. Based on the experimental measurements and first-principles calculations, the electronic structure and hydrogen sensing properties of the Ni-doped TiO2 with an anatase structure were also investigated. It reveals that Ni substitution of the Ti sites could induce significant inversion of the conductivity type and effective reduction of the bandgap of anatase oxide. The calculations also reveal that the resistance change for Ni-doped anatase TiO2 with/without hydrogen absorption was closely related to the bandgap especially the Ni-induced impurity level.

TiO2 Nanotubes; Ni doping; Hydrogen sensor; First-principles calculations