Ultrasensitive H₂S gas sensors based on p-type WS₂ hybrid materials

Owing to their higher intrinsic electrical conductivity and chemical stability with respect to their oxide counterparts, nanostructured metal sulfides are expected to revive materials for resistive chemical sensor applications. Herein, we explore the gas sensing behavior of WS₂ nanowire-nanoflake hybrid materials and demonstrate their excellent sensitivity (0.043 ppm⁻¹) as well as high selectivity towards H₂S relative to CO, NH₃, H₂, and NO (with corresponding sensitivities of 0.002, 0.0074, 0.0002, and 0.0046 ppm⁻¹, respectively). Gas response measurements, complemented with the results of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis and first-principles calculations based on density functional theory, suggest that the intrinsic electronic properties of pristine WS₂ alone are not sufficient to explain the observed high sensitivity towards H₂S. A major role in this behavior is also played by O doping in the S sites of the WS₂ lattice. The results of the present study open up new avenues for the use of transition metal disulfide nanomaterials as effective alternatives to metal oxides in future applications for industrial process control, security, and health and environmental safety.