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Effect of milling time on the sensing properties of fly ash zeolite composite thin films
Katerina Lazarova * 1 , Silviya Boycheva 2 , Marina Vasileva 3 , Denitza Zgureva 4 , Tsvetanka Babeva 3
1  Institute of Optical Materials and Technologies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Akad. G. Bonchev str, bl. 109, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
2  Technical University of Sofia, Department of Thermal and Nuclear Power Engineering, Sofia, Bulgaria
3  Institute of Optical Materials and Technologies “Acad. J. Malinowski”, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
4  Technical University of Sofia, College of Energy and Electronics, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Published: 17 May 2021 by MDPI in 8th International Symposium on Sensor Science session Physical Sensors
10.3390/I3S2021Dresden-10068 (registering DOI)

Thin films consisting of a sol-gel Nb2O5 matrix doped with zeolite Na-X synthesized from fly ash through ultrasonic-assisted double stage fusion-hydrothermal alkaline activation were deposited by the spin-coating method. In order to improve the optical quality and sensing properties of the thin films zeolites were wet-milled for 60, 120 and 540 seconds prior to incorporation in the film. The liquid adsorption ability of thin films were tested by measuring the reflectance spectra prior to and after exposure to liquid acetone and the change in the reflection coefficient ∆R of the films was calculated. The influence of milling time of zeolites on the sensing and optical properties of the films was studied.

Keywords: optical sensor; sol-gel; Nb2O5; thin films; zeolites; fly ash