ZnO QDs Deposited on Si by Sol-Gel Method: Role of Annealing Temperature on Structural and Optical Properties

  •  A. Al-Azawi    
  •  Hayder J. Al-Asedy    
  •  Noriah Bidin    
  •  Khaldoon N. Abbs.    


Zinc acetate, propanol, and ethanolamine are used to synthesize ZnO quantum dots (QDs) via the sol–gel method. Spin coating at 220°C is then employed to prepare ZnO thin films consist of QDs. The effects of thermal annealing temperature on the structural and optical properties of the samples are investigated. The prepared QDs are characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). XRD patterns reveal the crystalline nature of samples existing in the hexagonal wurtzite phase. Increasing annealing temperatures bring about changes to the crystal orientation through the c-axis and increase the size of the QDs from ~10 nm to ~22 nm; this increment can be explained by a coarsening mechanism and the Ostwald ripening process. The observed broadening of X-ray peaks confirms the evolution of crystalline phases in the ZnO QDs. Quantitative analysis of size-dependent strain effects is performed through the Williamson-Hall model. The QD mean size estimated from FESEM and XRD displays high consistency. Room-temperature PL peaks of 3.37ev are attributed to the radiative recombination of electrons and holes from the ZnO QDs/Si interface.

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