Enhancing the photoconductivity and gas sensing performance of TiO2/SnO2 heterostructures tuned by the thickness of the SnO2 upper layer

S. A. De la Torre Pari, J. C.R. Aquino, A. F. Carlos-Chilo, J. A. Guerra, J. A.H. Coaquira, D. G. Pacheco-Salazar, J. F. Felix, J. L. Solis, F. F.H. Aragón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this report, polycrystalline TiO2/SnO2 heterostructures with variable SnO2 film thickness were deposited by DC sputtering. Scanning electron microscopy images show a cracked surface in all films. The latter gets more widespread as the SnO2 layer thickness increases with deposition time. Optical transmittance measurements were used to determine the thickness of the TiO2 and SnO2 polycrystalline films. Photocurrent measurements of pure SnO2 films using UVA irradiation revealed a good response for thinner SnO2 films, however, these decrease as film thickness increases. Besides, photocurrent response is enhanced for the TiO2/SnO2 heterostructures over pure SnO2 film. It is thought that a high photocurrent response can be produced due to the improved ability to separate the photoinduced electrons and holes, as well as due to suitable charge management at the TiO2 and SnO2 interface. Additionally, the large amount of active sites for the thinner SnO2 upper layer favors better room temperature gas response to ethanol than that obtained for single SnO2 films. These features make the TiO2/SnO2 heterostructure a promising candidate for room temperature gas sensors and photosensitivity applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156028
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume613
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • DC sputtering
  • Electron transfer layer
  • Metal oxide heterostructure
  • Photosensitivity
  • Room-temperature gas-sensing response

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