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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2015 Sep;15(9):6568-75.

Electrochemical Synthesis of ZnO Nanorods/Nanotubes/Nanopencils on Transparent Aluminium-Doped Zinc Oxide Thin Films for Photocatalytic Applications.


We report an electrochemical synthesis of homogeneous and well-aligned ZnO nanorods (NRs) on transparent conducting aluminium-doped zinc oxide (AZO) thin films as electrodes. The selected ZnO NRs was then chemically corroded in HCl and KCl aqueous solutions to form nanopencils (NPs), and nanotubes (NTs), respectively. A DC magnetron sputtering was employed to fabricate AZO thin films at various thicknesses. The obtained AZO thin films have a c-direction orientation, transmittance above 80% in visible region, and sheet resistance approximately 40 Ω/sq. They are considered to be relevant as electrodes and seeding layers for electrochemical. The ZnO NRs are directly grown on the AZOs without a need of catalysts or additional seeding layers at temperature as low as 85 degrees C. Their shapes are strongly associated with the AZO thickness that provides a valuable way to control the diameter of ZnO NRs grown atop. With the addition of HCI and KCl aqueous solutions, ZnO NRs were modified their shape to NPs and NTs with the reaction time, respectively. All the ZnO NRs, NPs, and NTs are preferred to grow along c-direction that indicates a lattice matching between AZO thin films and ZnO nanostructrures. Photoluminescence spectra and XRD patterns show that they have good crystallinities. A great photocatalytic activity of ZnO nanostructures promises potential application in environmental treatment and protection. The ZnO NTs exhibits a higher photocatalysis than others possibly due to the oxygen vacancies on the surface and the polarizability of Zn2+ and O2-.


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