Thin film-capped metallic nanoparticles (TFCMNPs) hold big promise for rapid, low-cost, and portable tracing of gas analytes. We show that sensing properties can be controlled by the configuration of the TFCMNPs. To this end, two methods were developed: layer by layer (LbL) and drop-by-drop, i.e., drop casting (DC). The TFCMNP prepared via LbL method was homogeneous and gradually increased in thickness, absorbance, and conductivity relative to TFCMNP prepared via DC method. However, our results indicate that the sensing of TFCMNP devices prepared via DC is significantly higher than that of equivalent LbL devices. These discrepancies can be explained as follows: LbL forms a high dense layer of TFCMNPs without vacancies, and a well-controlled deposition of NPs. The distance between the adjacent NPs is controlled by the capped ligands and the linker molecules making a rigid TFCMNP. Thus, exposing LbL devices to analyte induces a marginal change in the NP-NP distance. However, in DC devices, the analyte induces major change in the NP distances and permittivity due to their lack of connection, making the sensing much more pronounced. The DC and LbL methods used thiol and amine ligands-capped metallic nanoparticles to demonstrate the applicability of the methods to all types of ligands. Our results are of practical importance for integrating TFCMNPs in chemiresistive sensing platforms and for (bio) and chemical sensing applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Energy (all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films