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Synthesis and characterization of Ar-annealed zinc oxide nanostructures
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Nanostructured zinc oxide samples were synthesized through CVD and annealed in argon. The samples were investigated using SEM,
XRD, and UV/VIS/FTIR photoacoustic spectroscopy. The SEM/TEM images show relatively spherical particles that form elongated, connected domains post-anneal. XRD measurements indicate a typical wurtzite structure and reveal an increase in average grain size from 16.3 nm to 21.2 nm in Ar-annealed samples over pristine samples. Visible photoacoustic spectra reveal the contribution of defect levels on the absorption edge of the fundamental gap of zinc oxide. The steepness parameter of the absorption edge, which is inversely proportional to the width of the absorption edge, decreased from 0.1582 (pristine) to 0.1539 (annealed for 90 minutes) revealing increased density of defect states upon annealing. The FTIR photoacoustic spectra show an intense peak at 412 cm-1 and a shoulder at 504 cm-1 corresponding to the two transverse optical stretching modes of ZnO. These results may indicate a self-assembly mechanism upon anneal under Ar atmosphere leading to early-stage nanorod growth.
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