Ultrahigh sensitivity and layer-dependent sensing performance of phosphorene-based gas sensors

Shumao Cui, Haihui Pu, Spencer A. Wells, Zhenhai Wen, Shun Mao, Jingbo Chang, Mark C. Hersam, Junhong Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

612 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional (2D) layered materials have attracted significant attention for device applications because of their unique structures and outstanding properties. Here, a field-effect transistor (FET) sensor device is fabricated based on 2D phosphorene nanosheets (PNSs). The PNS sensor exhibits an ultrahigh sensitivity to NO 2 in dry air and the sensitivity is dependent on its thickness. A maximum response is observed for 4.8-nm-thick PNS, with a sensitivity up to 190% at 20 parts per billion (p.p.b.) at room temperature. First-principles calculations combined with the statistical thermodynamics modelling predict that the adsorption density is 1/410 15 cm '2 for the 4.8-nm-thick PNS when exposed to 20p.p.b. NO 2 at 300K. Our sensitivity modelling further suggests that the dependence of sensitivity on the PNS thickness is dictated by the band gap for thinner sheets (<10nm) and by the effective thickness on gas adsorption for thicker sheets (>10nm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8632
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Oct 21 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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