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Open Access Nano Express

Interior-architectured ZnO nanostructure for enhanced electrical conductivity via stepwise fabrication process

Eugene Chong14, Sarah Kim1, Jun-Hyuk Choi1, Dae-Geun Choi12, Joo-Yun Jung1, Jun-Ho Jeong12, Eung-sug Lee1, Jaewhan Lee14, Inkyu Park3 and Jihye Lee12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nano Manufacturing Technology, Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, Daejeon 305-343, South Korea

2 Nano-mechatronics Department, University of Science and Technology (UST), Daejeon 305-333, South Korea

3 Department of Mechanical Engineering and KI for the NanoCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 305-701, South Korea

4 Current address: Agency for Defense Development (ADD), Daejeon, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:428  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-428

Published: 24 August 2014

Abstract

Fabrication of ZnO nanostructure via direct patterning based on sol-gel process has advantages of low-cost, vacuum-free, and rapid process and producibility on flexible or non-uniform substrates. Recently, it has been applied in light-emitting devices and advanced nanopatterning. However, application as an electrically conducting layer processed at low temperature has been limited by its high resistivity due to interior structure. In this paper, we report interior-architecturing of sol-gel-based ZnO nanostructure for the enhanced electrical conductivity. Stepwise fabrication process combining the nanoimprint lithography (NIL) process with an additional growth process was newly applied. Changes in morphology, interior structure, and electrical characteristics of the fabricated ZnO nanolines were analyzed. It was shown that filling structural voids in ZnO nanolines with nanocrystalline ZnO contributed to reducing electrical resistivity. Both rigid and flexible substrates were adopted for the device implementation, and the robustness of ZnO nanostructure on flexible substrate was verified. Interior-architecturing of ZnO nanostructure lends itself well to the tunability of morphological, electrical, and optical characteristics of nanopatterned inorganic materials with the large-area, low-cost, and low-temperature producibility.

Keywords:
Electrical conductivity; Interior-architecturing; ZnO nanostructure; Nanoimprint Lithography(NIL); Zinc oxide (ZnO); Hydrothermal growth