Effect of temperature and concentration of precursors on morphology and photocatalytic activity of zinc oxide thin films prepared by hydrothermal route

S. Heinonen, J. P. Nikkanen, H. Hakola, E. Huttunen-Saarivirta, M. Kannisto, L. Hyvärinen, M. Järveläinen, E. Levänen

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    Abstract

    Zinc oxide (ZnO) is an important semiconductive material due to its potential applications, such as conductive gas sensors, transparent conductive electrodes, solar cells, and photocatalysts. Photocatalytic activity can be exploited in the decomposition of hazardous pollutants from environment. In this study, we produced zinc oxide thin films on stainless steel plates by hydrothermal method varying the precursor concentration (from 0.029 M to 0.16 M) and the synthesis temperature (from 70 °C to 90 °C). Morphology of the synthesized films was examined using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and photocatalytic activity of the films was characterized using methylene blue decomposition tests. It was found that the morphology of the nanostructures was strongly affected by the precursor concentration and the temperature of the synthesis. At lower concentrations zinc oxide grew as thin needlelike nanorods of uniform length and shape and aligned perpendicular to the stainless steel substrate surface. At higher concentrations the shape of the rods transformed towards hexagon shaped units and further on towards flaky platelets. Temperature changes caused variations in the coating thickness and the orientation of the crystal units. It was also observed, that the photocatalytic activity of the prepared films was clearly dependent on the morphology of the surfaces.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number012030
    JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
    Volume123
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    Event3rd International Conference on Competitive Materials and Technology Processes, IC-CMTP 2014 - Miskolc-Lillafured, Hungary
    Duration: 6 Oct 201410 Oct 2014

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