Synthesis of platinum-decorated iron vanadate nanorods with excellent sensing performance toward n-butylamine

Yusuf Valentino Kaneti, Minsu Liu, Xiao Zhang, Yanru Bu, Yuan Yuan, Xuchuan Jiang, Aibing Yu

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The detection and monitoring of organic amines commonly found in food and medical industries (e.g. n-butylamine) has attracted increasing interests as they can induce adverse health effects to humans even at low concentrations. In this study, we have demonstrated the facile synthesis of platinum (Pt)-decorated iron vanadate (FeVO4) nanorods through a combined hydrothermal-polyol method, for highly sensitive and selective detection of toxic n-butylamine vapor with fast response/recovery time. The pure and Pt-decorated FeVO4 nanorods were successfully characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopes (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and nitrogen (N2) adsorption-desorption isotherms. The as-synthesized FeVO4 nanorods were highly porous, exhibiting pore diameters in the range of 2–20 nm, with a specific surface area of 21.4 m2/g. Following surface modification, small platinum (Pt) nanoparticles with varying sizes of 2–5 nm were uniformly loaded on the surface of these nanorods. The gas-sensing results reveal that the Pt-decorated FeVO4 nanorods exhibited three times higher response as well as three times faster response/recovery time, along with 5 times higher selectivity toward n-butylamine compared to the pure FeVO4 nanorods, under a relatively low optimum operating temperature of 240 °C. The enhanced sensing performance of the Pt-decorated FeVO4 nanorods is attributed to a few factors, including: (i) the larger surface area exhibited by the Pt-decorated FeVO4 nanorods compared to the pure FeVO4 nanorods (∼1.5 times larger), which may provide more sites for the adsorption of both oxygen and gas molecules, (ii) the increase in surface oxygen content of the FeVO4 nanorods after the Pt modification (based on XPS analysis), which may lead to the formation of more oxygen ions to react with the n-butylamine gas during the sensing process to produce more electrons, thus leading to improved conductivity, and (iii) the electronic and chemical sensitization induced by the deposited Pt nanoparticles. These findings will develop the potential of metal vanadate nanocomposites as highly sensitive and selective gas-sensing materials for detecting organic amines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Metal vanadate
  • Amine sensing
  • Noble metal decoration
  • Gas sensing
  • Porous oxide nanostructures
  • High sensitivity

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