The vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) deposited by microwave plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) were utilized as resistive gas sensors.
The carbon nanotubes were annealed between 200 to 800°C under N2 flow (500 sccm) for 15 minute, respectively. After that, the carbon nanotubes were exposed to an N2 filling and pumping environment. Upon exposure to N2 the electrical resistance of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes was found to increase. It was found that the N2 absorption of unannealed carbon nanotubes was reversible, whereas which of annealing ones was not. However, the sensitivity of the N2 absorption on carbon nanotubes was improved after annealing. From the Raman spectra, the ID/IG ratio of carbon nanotubes also decreased after annealing, indicating that more graphenes were formed by the annealing process. Furthermore, from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), it was observed that the ratio of the oxygen to carbon (O/C) signal intensity increased from 0.094 to 3.943 as the annealing temperature increased. As a consequence, it was suggested that the surface of carbon nanotubes was oxygenated and the absorption of N2 changed from physisorption to chemisorption.