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Platinum Nanoparticle Loading of Boron Nitride Aerogel and Its Use as a Novel Material for Low-Power Catalytic Gas Sensing


A high-surface-area, highly crystalline boron nitride aerogel synthesized with nonhazardous reactants has been loaded with crystalline platinum nanoparticles to form a novel nanomaterial that exhibits many advantages for use in a catalytic gas sensing application. The platinum nanoparticle-loaded boron nitride aerogel integrated onto a microheater platform allows for calorimetric propane detection. The boron nitride aerogel exhibits thermal stability up to 900°C and supports disperse platinum nanoparticles, with no sintering observed after 24 h of high-temperature testing. The high thermal conductivity and low density of the boron nitride aerogel result in an order of magnitude faster response and recovery times (<2 s) than reported on alumina support and allow for 10% duty cycling of the microheater with no loss in sensitivity. The resulting 1.5 mW sensor power consumption is two orders of magnitude less than commercially available catalytic gas sensors and unlocks the potential for wireless, battery-powered catalytic gas sensing.

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