ZnO micro and nanocrystals with enhanced visible light absorption
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Stojanović, Zoran S.
Škapin, Srečo Davor
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In this paper, we investigate the effect of the particle size and morphology on the optical properties of ZnO. A series of ZnO micro and nanocrystals were synthesized by the hydrothermal processing of zinc acetate dihydrate and sodium hydroxide as the starting materials, and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as the polymer surfactant. The particle size and morphology were tailored by adjusting the reactant molar ratios [Zn2+]/[OH−], while the reaction temperature and the time remained unchanged. X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) have shown that the micro and nanocrystals have a high crystalline pure wurtzite-type hexagonal structure with nanosized crystallites. The size and morphology of the ZnO micro and nanocrystals were investigated by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), which showed a modification from micro-rods via hexagonal-faceted prismatic morphology to nanospher...es, caused by simple adjustment of the reactant molar ratio [Zn2+]/[OH−] from 1:1 to 1:5. The optical properties of the ZnO micro and nanocrystals, as well as their dependence on the particle size and morphology were investigated by Raman and ultraviolet–visible (UV–vis) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The UV–vis spectra showed that the modification of the particle size and morphology from nanospheres to micro-rods resulted in increased absorption, and a slight red-shift of the absorption edge (0.06 eV). Besides, the band gap energy of the synthesized ZnO micro and nanocrystals showed the red shift (∼0.20 eV) compared to bulk ZnO. According to the results of a Raman spectroscopy, the enhanced visible light absorption of the ZnO micro and nanocrystals is related to two phenomena: (1) the existence of lattice defects (oxygen vacancies and zinc interstitials), and (2) the particle surface sensitization by PVP.
Keywords:zinc oxide / hydrothermal synthesis / morphology / optical properties
Source:Materials Science and Engineering: B, 2012, 1038-1045