• electron microscopy;
  • Raman spectroscopy;
  • semiconductors;
  • thermal evaporation

Phosphorus-doped ZnO nanostructures are synthesized on porous alumina membranes by evaporating the mixture of pure Zn, carbon, and P2O5 powder. The influences of growth area on phosphorus-doped ZnO nanostructures are studied in detail. The Raman spectra indicate that phosphorus enters into the ZnO crystal lattice to easily form a Zn–P bond and/or a PZn–O one by occupying an O site and a Zn one. The further analyses for Raman spectra and SEM results display that the change of nanorods morphology should mainly be attributed to the relaxation of lattice strain caused by P occupying Zn sites. Compared with the morphology of samples on Si substrate, it is found that alumina membranes are helpful to the growth of nanostructures due to the existence of localized negative charges. The growth mechanism of different nanostructures is also discussed. The present research results are helpful to realize the preparation of phosphorus-doped ZnO nanostructures with controllable morphologies.