While metal oxides and metal sulfides have been extensively studied for gas sensing applications, there are no extensive reports on gas sensing properties of metal diborides. Here, for the first time, we have investigated the conductometric gas sensing behavior of HfB2 nanoparticles. The HfB2 nanoparticles is synthesized via a sol-gel method and characterized using X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The gas sensor is fabricated by drop casting the HfB2 nanoparticles on interdigitated Ag/Pd electrodes. The sensor exhibited a promising NO2 sensing performance at the operating temperature of 200 °C. Interestingly, it is found that resistance of the sensor decreases upon exposure to both oxidizing and reducing gases, which does not follow the gas sensing behaviors of the widely investigated metal oxides. In addition, the sensor response is minimally influenced by oxygen background concentration. These results highlight that HfB2 nanoparticles exhibit very unique sensing characteristics.
Keywords: HfB2; Metal diborides; Nanoparticles; NO2; Gas sensing