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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Aug 25;97(8):085502. Epub 2006 Aug 25.

Low frequency Raman scattering from acoustic phonons confined in ZnO nanoparticles.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India.

Erratum in

  • Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jan 12;98(2):029902.


We report here the first observation of the low frequency Raman scattering from acoustic phonons in semiconducting zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles without embedding in any solid matrix. ZnO nanoparticles (size 5-10 nm) with nearly spherical shape have been synthesized using a chemical route. A shift in the phonon peaks toward higher frequencies along with broadening was observed with a decrease in particle size. The size dependence of the acoustic phonons in ZnO nanoparticles is explained using Lamb's theory that predicts the vibrational frequencies of a homogeneous elastic body of spherical shape. Our results show that the observed low frequency Raman scattering originates from the spherical (l = 0) and quadrupolar vibrations (l = 2) of the spheroidal mode due to the confinement of acoustic vibrations in ZnO nanoparticles.

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