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Effect of sol-age on the surface and optical properties of sol-gel derived mesoporous zirconia thin films
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Mesoporous ZrO2thin films have been deposited by a modified sol-gel dip coating technique using HCl as catalyst. Effects of sol-age on the surface and on the optical properties are studied. Transmission electron micrographs of the films reveal the pore dimensions in mesoporous regime. A strong correlation in surface topography with sol-age has been observed where increase in sol-age induces a systematic enhancement in the value of root mean square roughness of the films. Optical study shows that deposited films have high transmittance and an enhancement of 5.6 times in porosity in films prepared with sol-age of 10 days with respect to that of 1 day. Band gap estimation by Tauc's plots of films is observed to 5.74 eV, which shows invariance with the sol-age.
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