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Characterizing the Structure and Defect Concentration of ZnO Nanoparticles in a Colloidal Solution

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas Penfold


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The structure and defect concentration of colloidal solutions of ZnO nanoparticles, synthesized by a sol–gel procedure (SG-NP), as well as commercially available ZnO nanoparticles (SA-NP) are investigated by UV–vis absorption spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The XRD patterns, in agreement with the TEM images, reveal that the SG-NPs are more ellipsoidal than the SA-NPs. XRD and XAS reveal the presence of both zinc and oxygen vacancies. The concentration of the latter is independent of the NP size. This is not the case for the zinc vacancies, whose concentration increases sharply in the SG-NPs compared to the SA-NPs, and an ∼40% oxygen excess in comparison to the expected stoichiometric ratio is found. Importantly, an extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis shows that this large concentration of zinc vacancies does not lead to distortions of the local lattice structure. Finally, the Zn K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra show distinct changes in the rising edge and above edge regions, which supports the presence of zinc vacancies. In all cases, two weak pre-edge features are also observed and assigned to a small concentration of oxygen vacancies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rossi T, Penfold TJ, Rittmann-Frank MH, Reinhard M, Rittmann J, Borca CN, Grolimund D, Milne CJ, Chergui M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Year: 2014

Volume: 118

Issue: 33

Pages: 19422-19430

Print publication date: 21/08/2014

Online publication date: 11/08/2014

Acceptance date: 01/08/2014

ISSN (print): 1932-7447

ISSN (electronic): 1932-7455

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/jp505559u


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