ABSTRACT: Gaseous pollution has become a global issue and its presence above certain limits is hazardous to human health and environment. Detection of such gases is an immediate need and researchers around the world are trying to solve this problem. Metal oxides are being used as sensing materials for a long time, but a high operating temperature limits applications in many areas. On the other hand, two-dimensional materials with high surface-to-volume ratio and chemical stability are promising candidates in the field of gas sensing. This includes monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides, such as MoS2 and WS2, which are direct band gap materials. While few layer transition metal dichalcogenides are indirect band gap materials, they are easier to synthesize than monolayers. Therefore, it is important to understand whether few layer transition metal dichalcogenides possess the same sensing behavior as the corresponding monolayers. For this reason the first part of this dissertation compares the sensing behavior of monolayer and few layer MoS2 and WS2. Two dimensional hexagonal boron nitride is a highly stable structural analogue of graphene. However, its insulating behavior with large band gap is not suitable for sensing. Recently, monolayer Si2BN has been proposed to exist. As the presence of Si makes this material reactive, the second part of this dissertation addresses its application as sensing material.
In the final part of this dissertation, in search of a metal free, non-toxic, and earth abundant sensor material, further structural analogues of graphene are considered, namely monolayer C3N, monolayer C3Si, and monolayer C6BN. In particular, different theoretical approaches for studying the sensing performance of materials are compared to each other.