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Nanostructured ZnO Thin Films for Optical, Electrical, and Photoelectrochemical Applications from a New Zn Complex

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posted on 2012-12-19, 00:00 authored by Muhammad Shahid, Mazhar Hamid, Asif A. Tahir, Muhammad Mazhar, Mohammad A. Malik, Madeleine Helliwell
New hexanuclear zinc complex, Zn6(OAc)8(μ-O)2(dmae)4 (1) (OAc = acetato, dmae = N,N-dimethyl aminoethanolato) has been synthesized and characterized by its melting point, elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization mass spectrometry, thermal gravimetric analysis, and single crystal X-ray analysis. The complex (1) crystallizes in the monoclinic space group C2/c. The high solubility of complex (1) in organic solvents such as alcohol, THF, and toluene and low decomposition temperature as compared to Zn­(OAc)2 make it a promising single source candidate for the deposition of nanostructured ZnO thin films by aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition. Films with various nanostructures, morphology, and crystallographic orientation have been deposited by controlling the deposition temperature. The deposited films have been characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. The optical characterization of ZnO films deposited on the FTO substrate show a direct band gap of 3.31 eV, and the photoelectrochemical study revealed that the photocurrent onset is at about −0.32 V, whereas no photocurrent saturation was observed. The IV measurements designated the deposited films as ohmic semiconductors.