Face-selective electrostatic control of hydrothermal zinc oxide nanowire synthesis.
ABSTRACT: Rational control over the morphology and the functional properties of inorganic nanostructures has been a long-standing goal in the development of bottom-up device fabrication processes. We report that the geometry of hydrothermally grown zinc oxide nanowires can be tuned from platelets to needles, covering more than three orders of magnitude in aspect ratio (~0.1-100). We introduce a classical thermodynamics-based model to explain the underlying growth inhibition mechanism by means of the competitive and face-selective electrostatic adsorption of non-zinc complex ions at alkaline conditions. The performance of these nanowires rivals that of vapour-phase-grown nanostructures, and their low-temperature synthesis (<60 °C) is favourable to the integration and in situ fabrication of complex and polymer-supported devices. We illustrate this capability by fabricating an all-inorganic light-emitting diode in a polymeric microfluidic manifold. Our findings indicate that electrostatic interactions in aqueous crystal growth may be systematically manipulated to synthesize nanostructures and devices with enhanced structural control.
Project description:In this work, WS2 nanowire-nanoflake hybrids are synthesized by the sulfurization of hydrothermally grown WO3 nanowires. The influence of temperature on the formation of products is optimized to grow WS2 nanowires covered with nanoflakes. Current-voltage and resistance-temperature measurements carried out on random networks of the nanostructures show nonlinear characteristics and negative temperature coefficient of resistance indicating that the hybrids are of semiconducting nature. Bottom gated field effect transistor structures based on random networks of the hybrids show only minor modulation of the channel conductance upon applied gate voltage, which indicates poor electrical transport between the nanowires in the random films. On the other hand, the photo response of channel current holds promise for cost-efficient solution process fabrication of photodetector devices working in the visible spectral range.
Project description:The widespread use of Au as a seed particle in the fabrication of semiconductor nanowires presents a fundamental limitation to the potential incorporation of such nanostructures into electronic devices. Although several other growth techniques have been demonstrated, the use of alternative seed particle metals remains an underexplored but potentially very promising way to influence the properties of the resulting nanowires while simultaneously avoiding gold. In this Letter, we demonstrate the use of Sn as a seed particle metal for GaAs nanowires grown by metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy. We show that vertically aligned and stacking defect-free GaAs nanowires can be grown with very high yield. The resulting nanowires exhibit Esaki diode behavior, attributed to very high n-doping of the nanowire core with Sn, and simultaneous C-doping of the radial overgrowth. These results demonstrate that the use of alternative seed particle metals is a potentially important area to explore for developing nanowire materials with controlled material properties.
Project description:In this study, we grew zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowire arrays on paper substrates using a two-step growth strategy. In the first step, we formed single-crystalline ZnO nanoparticles of uniform size distribution (ca. 4 nm) as seeds for the hydrothermal growth of the ZnO nanowire arrays. After spin-coating of these seeds onto paper, we grew ZnO nanowire arrays conformally on these substrates. The crystal structure of a ZnO nanowire revealed that the nanowires were single-crystalline and had grown along the c axis. Further visualization through annular bright field scanning transmission electron microscopy revealed that the hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires possessed Zn polarity. From photocatalytic activity measurements of the ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays on paper substrate, we extracted rate constants of 0.415, 0.244, 0.195, and 0.08 s(-1) for the degradation of methylene blue at incident angles of 0°, 30°, 60°, and 75°, respectively; that is, the photocatalytic activity of these ZnO nanowire arrays was related to the cosine of the incident angle of the UV light. Accordingly, these materials have promising applications in the design of sterilization systems and light-harvesting devices.
Project description:We demonstrate that indium tin oxide nanowires (ITO NWs) and cationic polymer-modified ITO NWs configured in a network format can be used as high performing UV/vis photodetectors. The photovoltage response of ITO NWs is much higher than similarly constructed devices made from tin oxide, zinc tin oxide, and zinc oxide nanostructures. The ITO NW mesh-based devices exhibit a substantial photovoltage (31-100 mV under illumination with a 1.14 mW 543 nm laser) and photocurrent (225-325 μA at 3 V). The response time of the devices is fast with a rise time of 20-30 μs and a decay time of 1.5-3.7 ms when probed with a 355 nm pulsed laser. The photoresponsivity of the ITO NW devices ranges from 0.07 to 0.2 A/W at a 3 V bias, whose values are in the performance range of most commercial UV/vis photodetectors. Such useful photodetector characteristics from our ITO NW mesh devices are attained straightforwardly without the need for complicated fabrication procedures involving highly specialized lithographic tools. Therefore, our approach of ITO NW network-based photodetectors can serve as a convenient alternative to commercial or single NW-based devices.
Project description:Dielectric polymers for electrostatic energy storage suffer from low energy density and poor efficiency at elevated temperatures, which constrains their use in the harsh-environment electronic devices, circuits, and systems. Although incorporating insulating, inorganic nanostructures into dielectric polymers promotes the temperature capability, scalable fabrication of high-quality nanocomposite films remains a formidable challenge. Here, we report an all-organic composite comprising dielectric polymers blended with high-electron-affinity molecular semiconductors that exhibits concurrent high energy density (3.0?J?cm-3) and high discharge efficiency (90%) up to 200?°C, far outperforming the existing dielectric polymers and polymer nanocomposites. We demonstrate that molecular semiconductors immobilize free electrons via strong electrostatic attraction and impede electric charge injection and transport in dielectric polymers, which leads to the substantial performance improvements. The all-organic composites can be fabricated into large-area and high-quality films with uniform dielectric and capacitive performance, which is crucially important for their successful commercialization and practical application in high-temperature electronics and energy storage devices.
Project description:Controlled fabrication of single and multiple nanostructures far below the diffraction limit using a method based on laser induced periodic surface structure (LIPSS) is presented. In typical LIPSS, multiple lines with a certain spatial periodicity, but often not well-aligned, were produced. In this work, well-controlled and aligned nanowires and nanogrooves with widths as small as 40?nm and 60?nm with desired orientation and length are fabricated. Moreover, single nanowire and nanogroove were fabricated based on the same mechanism for forming multiple, periodic structures. Combining numerical modeling and AFM/SEM analyses, it was found these nanostructures were formed through the interference between the incident laser radiation and the surface plasmons, the mechanism for forming LIPSS on a dielectric surface using a high power femtosecond laser. We expect that our method, in particular, the fabrication of single nanowires and nanogrooves could be a promising alternative for fabrication of nanoscale devices due to its simplicity, flexibility, and versatility.
Project description:Gold based structures such as nanoparticles (NPs) and nanowires (NWs) have widely been used as building blocks for sensing devices in chemistry and biochemistry fields because of their unusual optical, electrical and mechanical properties. This article gives a detailed review of the new properties and fabrication methods for gold nanostructures, especially gold nanowires (GNWs), and recent developments for their use in optical and electrochemical sensing tools, such as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).
Project description:Semiconductor nanowires are mostly processed by complex, expensive, and high temperature methods. In this work, with the intent of developing zinc tin oxide nanowires (ZTO NWs) by low-cost and low-complexity processes, we show a detailed study on the influence of chemical parameters in the hydrothermal synthesis of ZTO nanostructures at temperatures of only 200 °C. Two different zinc precursors, the ratio between zinc and tin precursors, and the concentration of the surfactant agent and of the mineralizer were studied. The type and the crystallinity of the nanostructures were found to be highly dependent on the used precursors and on the concentration of each reagent. Conditions for obtaining different ZTO nanostructures were achieved, namely, Zn2SnO4 nanoparticles and ZnSnO3 nanowires with length ?600 nm, with the latter being reported for the first time ever by hydrothermal methods without the use of seed layers. Optical and electrical properties were analyzed, obtaining band gaps of 3.60 and 3.46 eV for ZnSnO3 and Zn2SnO4, respectively, and a resistivity of 1.42 k?·cm for single ZnSnO3 nanowires, measured using nanomanipulators after localized deposition of Pt electrodes by e-beam assisted gas decomposition. The low-temperature hydrothermal methods explored here proved to be a low-cost, reproducible, and highly flexible route to obtain multicomponent oxide nanostructures, particularly ZTO NWs. The diversity of the synthesized ZTO structures has potential application in next-generation nanoscale devices such as field effect nanotransistors, nanogenerators, resistive switching memories, gas sensors, and photocatalysis.
Project description:ZnO nanostructures with different morphologies (nanowires, nanodisks, and nanostars) were synthesized hydrothermally. Gas sensing properties of the as-grown nanostructures were investigated under thermal and UV activation. The performance of the ZnO nanodisk gas sensor was found to be superior to that of other nanostructures (S g ∼ 3700% to 300 ppm ethanol and response time and recovery time of 8 and 13 s). The enhancement in sensitivity is attributed to the surface polarities of the different structures on the nanoscale. Furthermore, the selectivity of the gas sensors can be achieved by controlling the UV intensity used to activate these sensors. The highest sensitivity value for ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, and toluene are recorded at the optimal UV intensity of 1.6, 2.4, 3.2, and 4 mW/cm(2), respectively. Finally, the UV activation mechanism for metal oxide gas sensors is compared with the thermal activation process. The UV activation of analytes based on solution processed ZnO structures pave the way for better quality gas sensors.
Project description:Periodically ordered arrays of vertically aligned Si nanowires (Si NWs) are successfully fabricated by nanosphere lithography combined with metal-assisted chemical etching. By adjusting the etching time, both the nanowires' diameter and length can be well controlled. The conductive properties of such Si NWs and particularly their size dependence are investigated by conductive atomic force microscopy (CAFM) on individual nanowires. The results indicate that the conductance of Si NWs is greatly relevant to their diameter and length. Si NWs with smaller diameters and shorter lengths exhibit better conductive properties. Together with the I-V curve characterization, a possible mechanism is supposed with the viewpoint of size-dependent Schottky barrier height, which is further verified by the electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) measurements. This study also suggests that CAFM can act as an effective means to explore the size (or other parameters) dependence of conductive properties on individual nanostructures, which should be essential for both fabrication optimization and potential applications of nanostructures.