Phosphonic Acid Modified ZnO Nanowire Sensors: Directing Reaction Pathway of Volatile Carbonyl Compounds

Chen Wang, Takuro Hosomi, Kazuki Nagashima, Tsunaki Takahashi, Guozhu Zhang, Masaki Kanai, Hideto Yoshida, Takeshi Yanagida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Surface molecular transformations on nanoscale metal oxides are inherently complex, and directing those reaction pathways is still challenging but important for designing their various applications, including molecular sensing, catalysts, and others. Here, a rational strategy to direct a reaction pathway of volatile carbonyl compounds (nonanal: biomarker) on single-crystalline ZnO nanowire surfaces via molecular modification is demonstrated. The introduction of a methylphosphonic acid modification on the ZnO nanowire surface significantly alters the surface reaction pathway of nonanal via suppressing the detrimental aldol condensation reaction. This is directed by intentionally decreasing the probability of two neighboring molecular activations on the nanowire surface. Spectrometric measurements reveal the correlation between the suppression of the aldol condensation surface reaction and the improvement in the sensor performance. This tailored surface reaction pathway effectively reduces the operating temperature from 200 to 100 °C while maintaining the sensitivity. This is because the aldol condensation product ((E)-2-heptyl-2-undecenal) requires a higher temperature to desorb from the surface. Thus, the proposed facile strategy offers an interesting approach not only for the rational design of metal oxide sensors for numerous volatile carbonyl compounds but also for tailoring various surface reaction pathways on complex nanoscale metal oxides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44265-44272
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Sept 30 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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