Growth and Characterization of ZnO Nanostructures
Abstract: A close relation between structural and optical properties of any semiconductor material does exist. An adequate knowledge and understanding of this relationship is necessary for fabrication of devices with desired optical properties. The structural quality and hence the optical properties can be influenced by the growth method and the substrate used. The aim of this work was to investigate the change in optical properties caused by growth techniques and substrate modification. To study the influence of growth technique on optical properties, ZnO nanostructures were grown using atmospheric pressure metal organic chemical vapor deposition (APMOCVD) and chemical bath deposition (CBD) technique. The structural and optical investigations were performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro photoluminescence (μ-PL), respectively. The results revealed that the grown structures were in the shape of nano-rods with slightly different shapes. Optical investigation revealed that low temperature PL spectrum for both the samples was dominated by neutral donor bound excitons emission and it tends to be replaced by free exciton (FX) emission in the temperature range of 60-140K. Both excitonic emissions show a typical red-shift with increase in temperature but with a different temperature dynamics for both the sample and this is due to difference in exciton-phonon interaction because of the different sizes of nano-rods. Defect level emission (DLE) is negligible in both the sample at low temperature but it increased linearly in intensity after 130 K up to the room temperature.Modification in substrate can also play a significant role on structural and optical properties of the material. Specially variation in the miscut angle of substrate can help to control the lateral sizes of the Nanostructures and thus can help to obtain better structural andoptical quality. Also optical quality is a key requirement for making blue and ultraviolet LEDs. Therefore, ZnO Nanostructures were grown on SiC on-axis and off-axis substrates having different off-cut angles. Morphological investigation revealed thatgrown structures are epitaxial for the case when substrate off-cut angle is higher and deposition rate is low. Low temperature PL spectrum of all the samples was dominated by neutral donor bound excitons and free exciton emission become dominant at 100 K for all the samples which completely eliminate the neutral donor bound excitonic emission at 160K. Two electron satellite of the neutral donor bound excitons and LO phonons of excitonic features are also present. A typical red-shift in excitonic features was evident in temperature dependence measurement. Red-shift behavior of free exciton for all the samples was treated by applying Varshni empirical expression and several important parameter, such as, the Debye temperature and the band gap energy value was extracted. Thermal quenching behavior was also observed and treated by thermal quenching expression and value of the activation energy for non-radiative channel was extracted. The results that are obtained demonstrate a significant contribution in the fields of ZnO based nano-optoelectronics and nano-electronics.
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