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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2012 Mar;12(3):2543-7.

Observation of quantum confinement effect on ZnO embedded mesoporous silica.

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  • 1School of Physics and DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, Materials Physics Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag. 3, WITS 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Nonionic surfactant as liquid organic template and tetraethoxysilane as silica precursor were used for the synthesis of mesoporous silica with ordered arrangement of nanopores (diameters are about 1-6 nm). The synthesized mesoporous silica was used as the template for the synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles using zinc acetylacetonate as ZnO precursor. The as synthesized ZnO incorporated in the mesoporous silica nanocomposite were analyzed using X-ray diffraction, TEM and Photoluminescent spectrum. ZnO introduction has no extensive influence on the mesoporous structure of silica. Quantum confinement effects are observed in the case of ZnO nanoparticles embedded in mesoporous silica. The particle size of ZnO is about 3.2 nm. The band gap is broadening to 3.47 eV.

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