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Zn3N2 nanowires: growth, properties and oxidation

Matthew Zervos12*, Chrystalla Karipi2 and Andreas Othonos3

Author affiliations

1 Nanostructured Materials and Devices Laboratory, Nanotechnology Research Unit, School of Engineering, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus

2 Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus

3 Research Center of Ultrafast Science, Department of Physics, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cyprus, PO Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:221  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-221

Published: 10 May 2013


Zinc nitride (Zn3N2) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of 50 to 100 nm and a cubic crystal structure have been grown on 1 nm Au/Al2O3 via the reaction of Zn with NH3 including H2 between 500°C and 600°C. These exhibited an optical band gap of ≈ 3.2 eV, estimated from steady state absorption-transmission spectroscopy. We compared this with the case of ZnO NWs and discussed the surface oxidation of Zn3N2 NWs which is important and is expected to lead to the formation of a Zn3N2/ZnO core-shell NW, the energy band diagram of which was calculated via the self-consistent solution of the Poisson-Schrödinger equations within the effective mass approximation by taking into account a fundamental energy band gap of 1.2 eV. In contrast, only highly oriented Zn3N2 layers with a cubic crystal structure and an optical band gap of ≈ 2.9 eV were obtained on Au/Si(001) using the same growth conditions.

Zinc nitride; Nanowires; Optical properties; Electronic structure