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One-step synthesis of ZnO nanosheets: a blue-white fluorophore

Sesha Vempati1*, Joy Mitra2 and Paul Dawson1

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Nanostructured Media, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen's University, Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK

2 School of Physics, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, 695 016, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:470  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-470

Published: 21 August 2012


Zinc oxide is synthesised at low temperature (80°C) in nanosheet geometry using a substrate-free, single-step, wet-chemical method and is found to act as a blue-white fluorophore. Investigation by atomic force microscopy, electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction confirms zinc oxide material of nanosheet morphology where the individual nanosheets are polycrystalline in nature with the crystalline structure being of wurtzite character. Raman spectroscopy indicates the presence of various defects, while photoluminescence measurements show intense green (centre wavelength approximately 515 nm) blue (approximately 450 nm), and less dominant red (approximately 640 nm) emissions due to a variety of vacancy and interstitial defects, mostly associated with surfaces or grain boundaries. The resulting colour coordinate on the CIE-1931 standard is (0.23, 0.33), demonstrating potential for use as a blue-white fluorescent coating in conjunction with ultraviolet emitting LEDs. Although the defects are often treated as draw-backs of ZnO, here we demonstrate useful broadband visible fluorescence properties in as-prepared ZnO.

Zinc oxide; Nanosheets; Photoluminescence; Fluorophore