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Open Access Nano Express

Structure and Photoluminescent Properties of ZnO Encapsulated in Mesoporous Silica SBA-15 Fabricated by Two-Solvent Strategy

Qingshan Lu, Zhongying Wang, Jiangong Li*, Peiyu Wang and Xialei Ye

Author Affiliations

Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:646-654  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9294-x

Published: 21 March 2009


The two-solvent method was employed to prepare ZnO encapsulated in mesoporous silica (ZnO/SBA-15). The prepared ZnO/SBA-15 samples have been studied by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, nitrogen adsorption–desorption isotherm, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. The ZnO/SBA-15 nanocomposite has the ordered hexagonal mesostructure of SBA-15. ZnO clusters of a high loading are distributed in the channels of SBA-15. Photoluminescence spectra show the UV emission band around 368 nm, the violet emission around 420 nm, and the blue emission around 457 nm. The UV emission is attributed to band-edge emission of ZnO. The violet emission results from the oxygen vacancies on the ZnO–SiO2interface traps. The blue emission is from the oxygen vacancies or interstitial zinc ions of ZnO. The UV emission and blue emission show a blue-shift phenomenon due to quantum-confinement-induced energy gap enhancement of ZnO clusters. The ZnO clusters encapsulated in SBA-15 can be used as light-emitting diodes and ultraviolet nanolasers.

ZnO; Clusters; Mesoporous silica; Photoluminescence