Synthesis of linear ZnO structures by a thermal decomposition method and their characterisation

K. K. Devarepally, D. C. Cox, A. T. Fry, V. Stolojan, R. J. Curry, M. Munz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The semiconductor zinc oxide (ZnO) is a promising material for applications in optoelectronics, photochemistry and chemical sensing. Furthermore, ZnO structures can be grown with a large variety of sizes and shapes. Devices with ZnO rods or wires as their core elements can be used in solar cells, gas sensors or biosensors. In this article, an easy approach for the non-aqueous wet chemical synthesis of ZnO structures is presented that employs the solvent trioctylamine (TOA) and the surfactant hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA). Using the thermal decomposition method, rod-shaped structures were grown that are suitable for the fabrication of electrical devices. A detailed study was carried out to investigate the effects of various reaction parameters on the growth process. Both the concentration of the surfactant HMTA and the zinc precursor zincacetylacetonate (Zn(acac) 2) were found to show strong effects on the resulting morphology. In addition to structural characterisation using XRD, SEM and TEM, also optical properties of rod-shaped ZnO structures were measured. Rod-shaped structures were obtained for the following conditions: reaction time 4 h, reaction temperature 70 °C, 1 mmol of Zn(acac) 2, 4 mmol of HMTA and 25 mL of the solvent TOA. Photoluminescence and photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy of samples grown under these conditions provided information on levels of defect states that could be critical for chemical sensing applications. Two narrow peaks around 254 and 264 nm were found that are well above the band gap of ZnO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1893-1901
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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