3 years ago

Low-cost synthesis of pure ZnO nanowalls showing three-fold symmetry.

Corrado Spinella, Salvatore Mirabella, Vincenzina Strano, Giuseppe Nicotra, Mario Scuderi
ZnO nanowalls (NWLs) represent a non-toxic, Earth abundant, high surface-to-volume ratio, semiconducting nanostructure which already showed potential applications in biosensing, environmental monitoring and energy. Low-cost synthesis of these nanostructures is extremely appealing for large scale upgrading of laboratory results and its production has to be tested at the nanoscale, at least in terms of chemical purity and crystallographic orientation. Here we produced by using chemical bath deposition (CBD) synthesis followed by a thermal treatment at 300°C, pure and texturized ZnO NWLs. We detailed the NWLs formation process and the new obtained structure at the nanoscale, by means of scanning and transmission electron microscopy in combination with X-ray diffraction and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. We show that only after a 300°C annealing in nitrogen the as-grown material composed by a mixture of Zn compounds NWLs shows the peculiar crystal arrangement. These ZnO sheets results in fact made by ZnO wurtzite domains (4-5 nm) that shows a particular kind of texturization, indeed they are aligned with their own c-axis always perpendicular to the sheets forming the wall and rotated (around the c-axis) by multiples of 20° each other. The presented data show that the low-cost CBD, followed by annealing process, gives a pure ZnO and peculiarly ordered nanostructure that shows a three-fold symmetry. Such evidences at the nanoscale will have significant implications for realizing sensing or catalyst devices based on ZnO NWLs.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aaa9e0

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aaa9e0

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