Polymer based organic solar cells (OSCs) are of tremendous interest as suitable candidates for producing clean and renewable energy in recent years. In this study, inverted OSCs on stainless steel (SS) substrate with zinc oxide (ZnO) as the electron selective transport layer (ESTL), are investigated, occupying bulk heterojunction blend of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) as the active material and poly-(4,3-ethylene dioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) as the hole transport layer (HTL). The device structure is SS/ZnO/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/Au. ZnO films are prepared by spin coating and electrodeposition techniques, followed by annealing under ambient conditions. The insertion of ZnO layer between the SS substrate and active layer has improved short-circuit current (J
sc), open-circuit voltage (V
oc), fill factor (FF), and power conversion efficiency (PCE) compared to those of the reference cell without ZnO layer, achieving the highest efficiency of 0.66% for the device with spin coated ZnO from sol–gel technique. This enhancement can be attributed to the effective electron extraction and the increased crystallinity of ZnO after annealing treatments at higher temperatures as further confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses.
The detection of hazardous gases at different concentration levels at low and room temperature is still an actual and challenging task. In this paper, Al-doped ZnO thin films are synthesized by the electrochemical deposition method on the gold electrodes of AT-cut quartz resonators, vibrating at 10 MHz. The average roughness, surface morphology and gas sensing properties are investigated. The average roughness of Al-doped ZnO layers strongly depends on the amount of the doping agent Al2(SO4)3 added to the solution. The structural dependence of these films with varying Al concentrations is evident from the scanning electron microscopy images. The sensing properties to ethanol and ammonia analytes were tested in the range of 0–12,800 ppm. In the analysis of the sensitivity to ammonia, a dependence on the concentration of the added Al2(SO4)3 in the electrochemically deposited layers is also observed, as the most sensitive layer is at 3 × 10−5 M. The sensitivity and the detection limit in case of ammonia are, respectively, 0.03 Hz/ppm and 100 ppm for the optimal doping concentration. The sensitivity depends on the active surface area of the layers, with those with a more developed surface being more sensitive. Al-doped ZnO layers showed a good long-term stability and reproducibility towards ammonia and ethanol gases. In the case of ethanol, the sensitivity is an order lower than that for ammonia, as those deposited with Al2(SO4)3 do not practically react to ethanol.
In this study, a four-inch zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructure was synthesized using radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering to maximize the electrochemical performance of the anode material of a lithium-ion battery. All materials were grown on cleaned p-type silicon (100) wafers with a deposited copper layer inserted at the stage. The chamber of the RF magnetron sputtering system was injected with argon and oxygen gas for the growth of the ZnO films. A hydrogen (H2) reduction process was performed in a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) chamber to synthesize the ZnO nanostructure (ZnO NS) through modification of the surface structure of a ZnO film. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were performed to confirm the surface and structural properties of the synthesized ZnO NS, and cyclic voltammetry was used to examine the electrochemical characteristics of the ZnO NS. Based on the Hall measurement, the ZnO NS subjected to H2 reduction had a higher electron mobility and lower resistivity than the ZnO film. The ZnO NS that was subjected to H2 reduction for 5 min and 10 min had average roughness of 3.117 nm and 3.418 nm, respectively.
We used sol-gel and spin-coating in the original configuration of a liquid deposition process to synthesize particularly thin ZnO films (<100 nm) with nano-granular morphology, high grain orientation and variable optical properties. The concentration of the zinc salt, the concentration of the chelating agent, the nature of the solvent and the substrate material have been identified as key parameters that determine the microstructure of the deposited layer and thus its final properties. The thorough and practical examination of the effects of the synthesis parameters evidenced a three-step growth mechanism for these ZnO thin films: (i) a reaction of precursors, (ii) a formation of nuclei, and (iii) a coalescence of nanoparticles under thermal annealing. The growth of these very thin films is thus conditioned by the interaction between the liquid phase and the substrate especially during the initial steps of the spin coating process. Such thin ZnO films with such nano-granular morphology may be of great interest in various applications, especially those requiring a large active surface area.
ZnO is one of the most important industrial metal oxide semiconductors. However, in order to fully realise its potential, the electronic structure of ZnO has to be modified to better fit the needs of specific fields. Recent studies demonstrated that reactive magnetron sputtering under Zn-rich conditions promotes the formation of intrinsic ZnO defects and allows the deposition of metallic Zn phase-rich ZnO films. In photocatalytic efficiency tests these films were superior to traditional ZnO oxide, therefore, the purposeful formation of intrinsic ZnO defects, namely Zn interstitials and oxygen vacancies, can be considered as advantageous self-doping. Considering that such self-doped ZnO remains a semiconductor, the natural question is if it is possible to further improve its properties by adding extrinsic dopants. Accordingly, in the current study, the metallic Zn phase-rich ZnO oxide film formation process (reactive magnetron sputtering) was supplemented by simultaneous sputtering of copper or carbon. Effects of the selected dopants on the structure of self-doped ZnO were investigated by X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectroscope and photoluminescence techniques. Meanwhile, its effect on photocatalytic activity was estimated by visible light activated bleaching of Methylene Blue. It was observed that both dopants modify the microstructure of the films, but only carbon has a positive effect on photocatalytic efficiency.
This study aims to investigate the physical characteristics and photocatalyst activity of biosynthesized ZnO with pineapple (Ananas comosus) peel extract under microwave irradiation. The ZnO powder was prepared in two different concentrations of zinc nitrate hexahydrate (ZNH) at 200mM (Z-200) and 500 mM (Z-500). The optical, structural, and morphological properties of ZnO were analyzed using UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), respectively. The UV-Vis absorption spectrum showed a wide absorbance peak of ZnO at the wavelength of 300-360 nm with a bandgap energy of 3.22 and 3.25 eV. The XRD result confirmed the wurtzite structure of ZnO with high crystallinity. SEM morphology showed spherical particles with an average particle size of 190-220 nm. For photocatalytic application, ZnO film was fabricated via the doctor blade method from microwave-assisted biosynthesized ZnO powder. ZnO films were then applied under UV-irradiation to examine the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue. It was found that the catalytic behavior of ZnO film was affected by the starting ZNH concentration with maximum effectiveness of 46% degradation after 2 h.