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Nanoscale. 2011 Feb;3(2):592-7. doi: 10.1039/c0nr00592d. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

ZnO nanocone: application in fabrication of the smallest whispering gallery optical resonator.

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State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Institute of Optoelectronic and Functional Composite Materials, Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Physics & Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, Guangdong, PR China.


ZnO semiconductors at the micro- and nanometre scales are attractive in optical, magnetic, and electronic applications because of their particular features and excellent properties. The whispering gallery mode (WGM) is a general and effective type to amplify the intensity of the luminescence emission, and has gained extensive application in lasing and microcavities. In this contribution, we reported that the smallest whispering gallery optical resonator has been achieved in an individual ZnO nanocone whose diameter gradually reduces from bottom to top in the range of 700 to 50 nm. Using the monochromatic cathodoluminescence (CL) equipment attached at a scanning electron microscopy, we observed the alternating patterns of bright and dark rings from the monochromatic CL image of an individual ZnO nanocone, which is attributed to the WGM-like enhanced luminescence emission when the ZnO nanocone is considered as an optical resonator. The smallest mode number of WGM, N=0, was observed in the ZnO nanocone with a radius of 55 nm for the considered light wavelength of 380 nm, and with a radius of 81 nm for the considered light wavelength of 500 nm, respectively. These results showed that the smallest whispering gallery optical resonator from an individual ZnO nanocone has been fabricated. Experiments are in good agreement with both theoretical predictions and computer simulations based on the finite-difference time domain method with perfectly matched layer boundary conditions. These findings provided valuable information for applications of ZnO micro- and nanostructures in optoelectronic devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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