Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2021, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (10): 1911036.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201911036

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Controllable Synthesis and Gas Sensing Properties of Bridged Tungsten Oxide Nanowires

Tiantian Dai1,2,3, Zanhong Deng1,3, Gang Meng1,3,*(), Bin Tong1,2,3, Hongyu Liu1,2,3, Xiaodong Fang1,3,*()   

  1. 1 Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of Photonic Devices and Materials, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
    2 Branch Institute of Science Island, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
    3 Advanced Laser Technology Laboratory of Anhui Province, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230037, China
  • Received:2019-11-19 Accepted:2019-12-27 Published:2020-01-17
  • Contact: Gang Meng,Xiaodong Fang;
  • About author:Email: (X.F.); +86-551-65593661 (X.F.)
    Email: (G.M.); Tel.: +86-551-65593508 (G.M.)
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(11604339);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(11674324);CAS Pioneer Hundred Talents Program from Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS-JSPS Joint Research Projects(GJHZ1891);National Key Laboratory of Quantum Optics and Photonic Devices, China(KF201901)


The rapid development of industrialization has resulted in severe environmental problems. A comprehensive assessment of air quality is urgently required all around the world. Among various technologies used in gas molecule detection, including Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy (MS), electrochemical sensors, and metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) gas sensors, MOS gas sensors possess the advantages of small dimension, low power consumption, high sensitivity, low production cost, and excellent silicon chip compatibility. MOS sensors hold great promise for future Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, which will have a profound impact on indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring. The development of nanotechnology has significantly enhanced the development of MOS gas sensors. Among various nanostructures like nanoparticles, nanosheets and nanowires, the emergence of quasi-one-dimensional (q1D) nanowires/nanorods/nanofibers, with unique q1D geometry (facilitating fast carrier transport) and large surface-to-volume ratio, potentially act as ideal sensing channels for MOS sensors with extremely small dimension, and good stability and sensitivity. These structures have thus been the focus of extensive research. Among the various MOS nanomaterials available, tungsten oxide (WO3-x, 0 ≤ x < 1) nanowires feature the characteristic properties (multiple oxidation states, rich substoichiometric oxides with distinct properties, photo/electrochromism, (photo)catalytic properties, etc.), and unique q1D geometry (single-crystalline pathway for fast carrier transport, large surface-to-volume ratio, etc.). WO3-x nanowires have broad applications in smart windows, energy conversation & storage, and gas sensing devices, and have thus become a focus of attention. In this paper, the fundamental properties of tungsten oxide, synthesis methods and growth mechanism of tungsten oxide nanowires are reviewed. Among various (vapor-liquid-solid (VLS), vapor-solid (VS) and thermal oxidation) growth methods, the thermal oxidation method enables an in situ integration of WO3-x nanowires on predefined electrodes (so-called bridged nanowire devices) via the oxidation of lithographically patterned W film at relatively low growth temperature (~500 ℃) because of interfacial strain, defects and oxygen on the surface of the W film. The novel bridged nanowire-based sensor devices outperform traditional lateral nanowire devices in terms of larger exposure area, low power consumption via self-heating, and greater convenience in device processing. Recent progress in bridged WO3-x nanowire devices and sensitive NOx molecule detection under low power consumption have also been reviewed. Power consumption of as low as a few milliwatts was achieved, and the detection limit of NO2 was reduced to 0.3 ppb (1 ppb = 1 × 10-9, volume fraction). In situ formed bridged WO3-x nanowire devices potentially satisfy the strict requirements of IoT sensors (small dimension, low power consumption, high integration, low cost, high sensitivity, and selectivity), and hold great promises for future IoT sensors.

Key words: Bridged tungsten oxide nanowires, Thermal oxidation, Low power consumption, High sensitivity, In situ integration, Gas sensing