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Keywords:

  • colloids;
  • luminescence;
  • optical properties;
  • organometallic;
  • zinc oxide

Abstract

The emission properties of nanocrystalline ZnO particles prepared following an organometallic synthetic method are investigated. Spherical particles and nanorods are studied. The shape of the particles and the ligands used are shown to influence the luminescence properties in the visible domain. Two different emissions are observed at 440 nm (≈2.82 eV) and at 580 nm (≈2.14 eV) that are associated with the presence of surface defects on the particles. The first emission corresponds to the well-known yellow emission located at 580 nm (≈2.14 eV) with a lifetime of 1850 ns for 4.0 nm size ZnO nanoparticles. The second emission at 440 nm (≈2.82 eV) is observed when amine functions are present. This strong blue emission is associated with an excitation energy less than that associated with the yellow emission displaying a lifetime of nine nanoseconds. A possible hole trapping effect by the amine groups on the surface of the ZnO particles is discussed as the origin of this emission. The modification of the intensities between the two visible emissions for different particle shapes is proposed to be related to a specific location of the amine ligands on the surface of the particles.