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Humidity sensing properties of ZnO nanoparticles synthesized by sol-gel process
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ZnO nanoparticles have been synthesized by the sol-gel method with approximately 10 nm diameter and the humidity adsorption and desorption kinetics of ZnO nanoparticles were investigated by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) technique. The morphology and crystal structure of the ZnO nanoparticles have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The roughness of the surface has been investigated using atomic force microscope (AFM). The dynamic Langmuir adsorption model was used to determine the kinetic parameters such as adsorption and desorption rates and Gibbs free energy under relative humidity between 45% and 88%. The relative sensitivity of the ZnO nanoparticles-based humidity sensor was determined by electrical resistance measurements. Our reproducible experimental results show that ZnO nanoparticles have a great potential for humidity sensing applications at room temperature operations. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.