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Morphologies of Sol–Gel Derived Thin Films of ZnO Using Different Precursor Materials and their Nanostructures

Harish Bahadur1*, AK Srivastava1, RK Sharma1 and Sudhir Chandra2

Author Affiliations

1 National Physical Laboratory, K.S. Krishnan Road, New Delhi, 110012, India

2 Center for Applied Research in Electronics, Indian Institute of Technology, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, 110016, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 2:469-475  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9089-x

Published: 9 September 2007


We have shown that the morphological features of the sol–gel derived thin films of ZnO depend strongly on the choice of the precursor materials. In particular, we have used zinc nitrate and zinc acetate as the precursor materials. While the films using zinc acetate showed a smoother topography, those prepared by using zinc nitrate exhibited dendritic character. Both types of films were found to be crystalline in nature. The crystallite dimensions were confined to the nanoscale. The crystallite size of the nanograins in the zinc nitrate derived films has been found to be smaller than the films grown by using zinc acetate as the precursor material. Selected area electron diffraction patterns in the case of both the precursor material has shown the presence of different rings corresponding to different planes of hexagonal ZnO crystal structure. The results have been discussed in terms of the fundamental considerations and basic chemistry governing the growth kinetics of these sol–gel derived ZnO films with both the precursor materials.

ZnO thin films; Morphologies; Sol–Gel; XRD; SEM; TEM