Detection of peroxides using Pd/SnO2 nanocomposite catalysts

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Sensors used for trace explosives detection frequently exhibit poor sensitivity and selectivity for non-nitrogen based explosives such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP). Selectivity between hydrogen peroxide (H2O 2) and TATP molecules for example, is marginal in many types of gas sensors. In this study, we focused on improving sensor response and selectivity by employing combinatorial chemistry techniques. Specifically, Pd:SnO 2 nanocomposite catalysts were prepared and the most promising candidates screened using combinatorial chemistry techniques. The effect of palladium loadings on the response of Pd:SnO2 nanocomposites to TATP were investigated, and select compositions greatly improved the sensitivity to TATP and the selectivity of TATP over H2O2. Both SEM and TEM were employed to characterize the morphology of the nanocomposite catalysts and XRD and XPS were used to identify the crystal structure and the oxidation state of the catalyst. Based on the combinatorial chemistry experiments, Pd:SnO2 nancomposite catalysts with an 8 wt.% palladium loading yielded the greatest selectivity of TATP over H2O2, while a 12 wt.% palladium loading yielded the largest response signal to TATP. The relative merits of using this approach to identify catalysts for the detection of non-nitrogen based explosives are discussed. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical