Vol 7, No 3 (2016) > Metalurgy and Material Engineering >

Effect of Pressure in Post-Hydrothermal Treatment on the Nanostructural Characteristics of ZnO Nanoparticles

Akhmad Herman Yuwono, Daniel Kurniawan, Nofrijon Sofyan, Ghiska Ramahdita, Amalia Sholehah

 

Abstract: Zinc Oxide
(ZnO) is an important semiconductor material due to its broad applications, such
as in the fields of electronics, optoelectronics, photocatalysts, and solar
cells. The main purpose of this work was to investigate the effect of pressure
in post-hydrothermal treatment on crystallinity enhancement, crystallite
growth, and band gap reduction of ZnO nanoparticles, which could be expected to improve their performance as the
semiconductor oxide layer in the dye-sensitized solar cell application. For this
purpose, ZnO nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized through the precipitation
method, followed by a sequence of thermal treatments including drying,
calcination, and Post-hydrothermal
Treatment
(PHT). For increasing the crystallinity of ZnO nanoparticles, PHT was carried
out with a pressure variation of 1 and 3 bar. The resulting nanoparticles were
further characterized with X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Ultra-Violet Visible (UV-Vis)
spectroscopy and a Scanning
Electron
Microscope
(SEM). The study showed that by increasing the PHT pressure from 1 to 3 bar caused
an adverse effect on the crystallinity, i.e.
the crystallite size of ZnO nanoparticles slightly decreased from 27.42 to
26.88 nm. This was expected to be due to the increase of the boiling point of
water causing less effective of vapor generated to improve the crystallinity by
a cleavage
mechanism on the inorganic framework. The band gap energy (Eg), however, was found to increase slightly from 3.25
to 3.26 eV, respectively. Considering the obtained properties, ZnO
nanoparticles in this study have the potential to be used as the semiconductor
oxide layer in the dye-sensitized solar cells.
Keywords: Bandgap; Crystallinity; Crystallite size; Post-hydrothermal treatment; ZnO nanoparticles

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