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Intensify the application of ZnO-based nanodevices in humid environment: O2/H2 plasma suppressed the spontaneous reaction of amorphous ZnO nanowires

Chun-Yen Lai1, Tzu-Chiao Chien1, Ting-Yi Lin1, Teng Ke1, Shih-Han Hsu1, Yun-Ju Lee1, Chien-ying Su2, Jeng-Tzong Sheu2 and Ping-Hung Yeh1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physics, Tamkang University, Tansui 25137, Taiwan

2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30050, Taiwan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:281  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-281

Published: 2 June 2014


In this work, we have demonstrated that amorphous ZnO nanobranches (a-ZnO NBs) could spontaneously react from the crystalline ZnO NWs (c-ZnO NWs) at specific humid environment. The spontaneous reaction mechanism and result can be analyzed by humidity controlling and optical microscope (OM)/scanning electron microscope (SEM)/Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM)/transmission electron microscopy (TEM) system. We can make the c-ZnO NWs spontaneous reaction happen at different humid environments and suppress the a-ZnO NBs spontaneous reaction by oxygen/hydrogen plasma surface passivation. The hydrogen plasma surface treatment also can improve the UV sensing sensitivity more than twofold. This work provides the mechanism and methods of the a-ZnO NBs spontaneous growth and offers the passivation treatment for strengthening and enhancing ZnO-based nanodevice application in humid environment and UV light detection, respectively.

Spontaneous reaction; Humidity reaction; a-ZnO; Plasma passivation