Pal, Moumita and Bera, Susanta and Sarkar, Saswati and Jana, Sunirmal (2014) Influence of Al doping on microstructural, optical and photocatalytic properties of sol-gel based nanostructured zinc oxide films on glass. RSC Advances, 4 (23). pp. 11552-11563. ISSN 2046-2069

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Al doped nanostructured zinc oxide thin films (thickness, 165 +/- 5 nm) on silica glass were prepared from zinc acetate based solutions of varying dopant content (0 to 10 at% with respect to Zn). X-ray diffraction confirmed the presence of nanocrystalline hexagonal ZnO. On increasing the doping level, we observed a change in ZnO morphology (spherical, hexagon and plate-shaped) under field emission scanning and transmission electron microscopes and a gradual decrease of ZnO crystallite size (14.0 to similar to 10 nm) vis-a-vis an enhancement of direct band gap energy of the films. Root mean square film surface roughness and chemical state of elements were studied by atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy respectively. In addition to common intrinsic defects in ZnO, a defect (designated as D-ZA(center dot), appearing as a paramagnetic singly negatively charged oxygen vacancy) was identified up to 4% doping from the appearance of photoluminescence emission at 398 nm and measurement of paramagnetic property of the films. Film photocatalytic activity towards Rhodamine 6G dye decomposition was performed under UV (254 nm) irradiation and the film with 4% doping (A4ZO) showed the highest value of first order decomposition rate constant. On increasing Al content, the trend of change of defect concentration (oxygen vacancies) analyzed by Raman spectra was found to be identical with the dye photodecomposition activity (PA) of the films. A major role of D-ZA(center dot) towards the PA was explored under visible light. We proposed the reaction mechanism of PA based on the experimental results. The A4ZO would be expected to decompose micro-organisms under visible light.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Glass
Engineering Materials
Divisions: Sol Gel
Depositing User: Bidhan Chaudhuri
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 10:19
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 10:19

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