Zirconium oxide (ZrO2) is a wide and direct band gap semiconductor having potential to be used in making fuel cells, protective coatings for mirrors and optoelectronic devices. The optoelectronic devices fabricated on ZrO2 span wide optical range depending on the band gap of ZrO2 material. The band gap of ZrO2 can be tuned by fabricating it to nanoscale. In this paper, we synthesized the ZrO2 nanostructures on quartz substrate using ZrO2 ions produced by the ablation of ZrO2 pellet due to high temperature, high density and extremely non-equilibrium argon plasma in a modified dense plasma focus device. Uniformly distributed monoclinic ZrO2 nanostructures of average dimension ~ 14 nm have been obtained as found from X-ray diffraction and Scanning electron microscopy studies. The monoclinic phase of ZrO2 nanostructures is further confirmed from photoluminescence (PL) and Raman spectra. PL spectra show peaks in ultra-violet (UV) and near-UV regions with tunable band gap of nanostructures. Similar tunability of band gap has been observed from absorption spectra. The obtained structural, morphological and optical properties are correlated to investigate the potential applications of ZrO2 nanostructures in optoelectronic devices.
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Monoclinic zirconium oxide nanostructures having tunable band gap synthesized under extremely non-equilibrium plasma conditions
Published: 30 August 2018 by MDPI in 1st International Online Conference on Nanomaterials session Synthesis
Keywords: Nanocrystalline materials; Zirconium oxide; Synthesis; Luminescence; Energy band gap.