Controlling oriented aggregation using increasing reagent concentrations and trihalo acetic acid surfactants

Anthony S. Ratkovich, Lee Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Zinc oxide particle growth from homogenous solutions prepared with isopropyl alcohol was monitored using in situ UV-vis spectroscopy, and results show that the rate of ZnO particle growth and the final ZnO nanoparticle size depend strongly upon the concentrations of precursors and the identity of surfactants used. In addition, particle size versus time data was fit using the coarsening model and the simultaneous oriented aggregation and coarsening model in order to evaluate the effect of changing synthetic variables on the mechanism of nanoparticle growth. In general, an increase in growth by oriented aggregation with increasing precursor concentrations was observed, a result that was consistent with results from high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) characterization. The increase in precursor concentrations resulted in an increase in the number concentration of ZnO nanoparticles, which resulted in a higher probability of particle-particle interactions and hence increased growth by oriented aggregation. Additionally, particle growth in solutions of trifluoro-, trichloro-, and tribromoacetate surfactants was studied, and growth by oriented aggregation followed the trend expected based on the number concentration of zinc oxide particles. Growth with trifluoroacetate was an exception, with growth by oriented aggregation substantially suppressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1600-1608
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Nanoparticle
  • Particle growth
  • Zinc oxide


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