Colorimetric gas detection by the varying thickness of a thin film of ultrasmall PTSA-coated TiO2 nanoparticles on a Si substrate

Urmas Joost, Andris Šutka, Meeri Visnapuu, Aile Tamm, Meeri Lembinen, Mikk Antsov, Kathriin Utt, Krisjanis Smits, Ergo Nõmmiste and Vambola Kisand

Colorimetric gas sensing is demonstrated by thin films based on ultrasmall TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) on Si substrates. The NPs are bound into the film by p-toluenesulfonic acid (PTSA) smits 2017 imageand the film is
made to absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since the color of the sensing element depends on the interference of reflected light from the surface of the film and from the film/silicon substrate interface, colorimetric detection is possible by the varying thickness of the NP-based film. Indeed, VOC absorption causes significant swelling of the film. Thus, the optical path length is increased, interference wavelengths are shifted and the refractive index of the film is decreased. This causes a change of color of the sensor element visible by the naked eye. The color response is rapid and changes reversibly within seconds of exposure. The sensing element is extremely simple and cheap, and can be fabricated by common coating processes.


Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology

Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2017, 8, 229–236.

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Unexpected Epitaxial Growth of a Few WS2 Layers on 1100 Facets of ZnO Nanowires

Boris Polyakov, Alexei Kuzmin, Krisjanis Smits, Janis Zideluns, Edgars Butanovs,
Jelena Butikova, Sergei Vlassov, Sergei Piskunov, and Yuri F. Zhukovskii


Core-shell nanowires is an interesting and perspective class of radially heterostructured nanomaterials where epitaxial growth of the shell can be realized even at signi ficant core-shell lattice mismatch. In this study epitaxial hexagonally-shaped shell consisting of WS2 nanolayers was grown on f1100g facets of prismatic wurtzite-structured
[0001]-oriented ZnO nanowires for the first time. A synthesis was performed by annealing in a sulfur atmosphere of ZnO/WO3 core-shell structures, produced by reactive
DC magnetron sputtering of amorphous a-WO3 layer on top of ZnO nanowire array.
The morphology and phase composition of synthesized ZnO/WS2 core-shell nanowires were con firmed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM),micro-Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Epitaxial growth of WS2(0001) layer(s) on f1100g facets of ZnO nanowire is unexpected due to incompatibility of their symmetry and structure parameters. To relax the interfacial incoherence, we propose a model of ZnO/WS2 interface containing WS2 bridging groups inside and use first-principles simulations to support its feasibility.

J. Phys. Chem. C

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b06139

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Ag sensitized TiO2 and NiFe2O4 three-component nanoheterostructures: synthesis, electronic structure and strongly enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity

A. Šutka, T.
Käämbre, R. Pärna, N. Doebelin, M. Vanags, K. Smits and V. Kisand

This study reports on the synthesis and characterisation of two- and three-component visible light active photocatalytic
nanoparticle heterostructures, based on TiO2 and NiFe2O4 and sensitized with Ag. We observe that Ag content as small as
1 at.% in the TiO2/NiFe2O4 heterostructure increases by more than an order of magnitude the rate constant for the visible
light photocatalytic process. We rationalise this in terms of the measured structure and electronic structure data of the
binary and ternary combinations of the component materials and focus on details, which show that an optimised
deposition sequence is vital for attaining the high values of photocatalytic efficiency, because the charge transfer across
the interfaces appears to be sensitive to where the Ag is loaded in the heterostructure. The overall higher visible light
photocatalytic activity of the TiO2/Ag/NiFe2O4 heterostructure was observed and is attributed to enhanced charge carrier
separation efficiency and migration via vectorial electron transfer.

RSC Advances., 2016,

DOI: 10.1039/C6RA00728G

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Multicolor upconversion luminescence of GdVO4:Ln3þ/Yb3þ (Ln3þ ¼ Ho3þ, Er3þ, Tm3þ, Ho3þ/Er3þ/Tm3þ) nanorods

Tamara V. Gavrilovic , Dragana J. Jovanovic,  Krisjanis Smits, Miroslav D. Dramicanin 

Lanthanide-doped GdVO4 nanorods that exhibit upconversion emission under 982 nm excitation have
been prepared by a facile room-temperature chemical co-precipitation method followed by a subsequent
annealing at temperatures of 600 C, 800 C and 1000 C. Multicolor upconversion emission, including
white, was achieved by tuning the concentrations of dopant lanthanide ions (Ho3þ, Er3þ, Tm3þ and Yb3þ)
in GdVO4. It is found that four GdVO4 samples emit light with the white chromaticity coordinates of
(0.326, 0.339), (0.346, 0.343), (0.323, 0.327) and (0.342, 0.340) respectively, under a single-wavelength
NIR excitation. These coordinates are very close to the standard equal energy white light coordinates
(0.333, 0.333) according to the 1931 CIE diagram. By varying dopant lanthanide concentrations in
nanorods it is possible to produce upconversion emission with colors between red (0.504, 0.369), green
(0.282, 0.577) and blue (0.142, 0.125) coordinates.

Dyes and Pigments 126 (2016) 1e7


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