[Researcher of the Month] Detecting Ultra-Sensitive Benzene
Professor Kim Hyoun-woo (Division of Materials Science and Engineering)
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Professor Kim Hyoun-woo of the Division of Materials Science and Engineering is April’s Researcher of the Month, for his active role in exploring the field of materials science and engineering. In his paper “Ultra-sensitive benzene detection by a novel approach: Core-shell nanowires combined with the Pd-functionalization”, Kim explains how the detection of benzene gas has become much more efficient than ever. The palladium being extra sensitive to benzene gas has been the key to the detection technique which has drawn attention in this field.
The Pd-functionalized SnO2-ZnO C-S NW is the substance developed by Kim in order to detect benzene, a toxic gas. Since nano-sized palladium particles are added on a cell with SnO2 and ZnO covered on top, the sensor produces a spillover effect, distributing the benzene gas particles along the conduction band.
This is important since benzene gas can be found in everyday life. It is inside cigarette smoke, smog, exhaust fumes and may be found in new houses, creating sick house syndrome. Through Kim’s finding, this benzene gas, which could be lethal to human lives, can be spotted in a much more sensitive manner. Since the sensors and cells created in a smaller size would lead to higher sensitivity, the particles have been selected in nano-sizes.
The only problem that could arise with this sensor is that it depends heavily upon the selectivity of which gas it wants to detect. The compatibility between different particles could create great results as Kim has found out in the case of palladium and benzene, while in other cases, disastrous results may be spawned.
Kim wishes to develop better usage of sensors than those that are being distributed in every day life as of now. “I want to find the best usage of a new sensing principle totally different from the current ones,” said Kim.
Kim Seung-jun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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