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Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Ultrasmall Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles

Saloga, Patrick E. J.; Thünemann, Andreas F.

Langmuir, 2019, vol 35, 38, pp. 12469-12482



We report on ultrasmall zinc oxide single-crystalline nanoparticles of narrow size distribution and long-term colloidal stability. These oleate-stabilized nanoparticles were synthesized using microwave-assisted synthesis for 5 min, corresponding to a 99% decrease in synthesis time, when compared to the conventional synthesis method. It was observed that the average particle radius increases from 2.6 ± 0.1 to 3.8 ± 0.1 nm upon increasing synthesis temperature from 125 to 200 °C. This change also corresponded to observed changes in the optical band gap and the fluorescence energy of the particles, from 3.44 ± 0.01 to 3.36 ± 0.01 eV and from 2.20 ± 0.01 to 2.04 ± 0.01 eV, respectively. Small-angle X-ray scattering, dynamic light scattering, and UV–vis and fluorescence spectroscopy were employed for particle characterization. Debye–Scherrer analysis of the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern reveals a linear increase of the crystallite size with synthesis temperature. The consideration of the convolution of a Lorentz function with a Gaussian function for data correction of the instrumental peak broadening has a considerable influence on the values for the crystallite size. Williamson–Hall XRD analyses in the form of the uniform deformation model, uniform stress deformation model, and uniform deformation energy density model revealed a substantial increase of strain, stress, and deformation energy density of the crystallites with decreasing size. Exponential and power law models were utilized for quantification of strain, stress, and deformation energy density.

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