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Nitro-Aromatic Explosive Sensing Using GaN Nanowire - Titania Nanocluster Hybrids



Albert Davydov, Geetha G. Aluri, Abhishek Motayed, Vladimir P. Oleshko, Kristine A. Bertness, Mulpuri V. Rao


A highly sensitive and selective detection of traces of nitro-aromatic explosive compounds by functionalizing gallium nitride (GaN) nanowires with anatase phase titania (titanium dioxide, TiO2) nanoclusters is demonstrated. The ultraviolet light photo-modulated GaN/TiO2 nanowire-nanocluster (NWNC) hybrids showed remarkable selectivity to benzene and related aromatic compounds, with no measureable response for other analytes at room temperature. The GaN/TiO2 hybrids were able to detect trinitrotoluene (TNT) concentrations as low as 500 ppt in air and dinitrobenzene concentrations as low as 10 ppb in air in approximately 30 s. The noted sensitivity range of the devices for TNT was from 8 ppm down to as low as 500 ppt. The detection limit of dinitrotoluene, nitrobenzene, nitrotoluene, toluene and benzene in air is 100 ppb with a response time of ~ 75 s. The devices showed very sensitive and selective response to TNT when compared to interfering compounds like toluene with good reproducibility. Integration of different NWNC hybrids on the same substrate could lead to tiny, highly sensitive, selective, low-power and smart explosive detectors that could be manufactured cheaply in large numbers.
IEEE Sensors Journal


gallium nitride, nanowires, sensors


Davydov, A. , Aluri, G. , Motayed, A. , Oleshko, V. , Bertness, K. and Rao, M. (2013), Nitro-Aromatic Explosive Sensing Using GaN Nanowire - Titania Nanocluster Hybrids, IEEE Sensors Journal, [online], (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018