Formation of ZnO thin films consisting of nano-prisms and nano-rods with a high aspect ratio by a hydrothermal technique at 60 °c

Ye Bin Kwon, Seung Wook Shin, Hyun Ki Lee, Jeong Yong Lee, Jong Ha Moon, Jin Hyeok Kim

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10 Scopus citations


ZnO thin films that consist of elongated nano-prisms and nano-rods were successfully grown on 100 nm-thick ZnO seeded glass substrates by hydrothermal synthesis at 60 °C and pH 10.3 in an aqueous solution containing Zn(NO 3)·6H2O, Al(NO3)3· 9H2O, Na3-citrate and NH4OH. The effect of Al(NO3)·6H2O and Na3-citrate, as surfactant chemicals, on the structural, morphological, optical and electrical properties of ZnO thin films were investigated. X-ray diffraction results showed that all the deposited films were grown as a polycrystalline wurtzite hexagonal phase with a c-axis preferred, out-of-plane orientation and without unwanted second phase. ZnO thin films deposited without any surfactant chemicals or deposited only with Al(NO3)·6H2O consist of elongated needle shaped nano-rods with a very rough surface morphology. On the other hand, ZnO thin films prepared using Na3-citrate as a surfactant chemical consist of hexagonal nano-prisms with a very smooth surface morphology. The thickness of the ZnO thin films with the very smooth surface morphology was increased remarkably using both Na3-citrate and Al(NO3)·6H2O as surfactant chemicals, in which ZnO thin films consisted of elongated hexagonal nano-prisms. These results show that relatively thick ZnO thin films with a good surface morphology can be grown easily by the appropriate use of surface modifying chemicals, such as Na 3-citrate and Al(NO3)·6H2O. The photoluminescence results showed strong defect-related emission peak centered near 545 nm in the rough surfaced ZnO thin film grown without any surfactant chemicals and strong band-edge peak centered near 368 nm in the smooth surfaced ZnO thin film grown using both Na3-citrate and Al(NO 3)·6H2O as the surfactant chemicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S197-S201
JournalCurrent Applied Physics
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported partially by Energy R&D program (2008-N-PV08-P-08) under the Korea Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) and partially by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST). (No. 2010-0007691 )


  • Hydrothermal technique
  • Low growth temperature
  • Nano structure
  • ZnO thin film


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