Structure–Property–Function Relationships in Nanoscale Oxide Sensors: A Case Study Based on Zinc Oxide


  • We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Emmy-Noether scholarship, SPP 1119) for financial support. Dr. E. Bill and Prof. K. Wieghardt are gratefully acknowledged for measuring EPR spectra. The possibility and support for using the spherical-aberration-corrected FEI Tecnai F20 transmission electron microscope in the workgroup of Prof. Hannes Lichte at the Triebenberg Lab of the TU Dresden is gratefully acknowledged. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


Chemical sensing on oxide sensors is a complex phenomenon involving catalytic activity as well as electronic properties. Thus, the properties of oxide sensors are highly sensitive towards structural changes. Effects like surface area, grain size, and, in addition, the occurrence of defects give separate contributions to the current. Structure–property–function relationships can be elucidated using a combination of state-of-the-art analytical techniques. It is shown, that impurity atoms in the oxide lattice influence the performance of ZnO sensors more strongly than the other factors.