Influence of the Counterion on the Synthesis of ZnO Mesocrystals under Solvothermal Conditions



Polymers and coordinating solvents have been shown to serve as templating agents to assist the precipitation of ZnO nanoparticles and address their morphology. In this work we show for the first time that a difference in the coordination strength between the polymer (poly-N-vinylpyrrolidone (PVP)) and the two ZnII precursor salts (nitrate and acetate) is able to promote or suppress the formation of mesocrystalline structures and even more importantly to tune their three-dimensional organization. On the basis of FTIR and 13C NMR spectroscopic studies, we propose that not only the polymer (PVP) but also the solvent (DMF) play a key role as directing agents.