Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Effect of Aluminum Oxide Doping on the Structural, Electrical, and Optical Properties of Zinc Oxide (Aozo) Nanofibers Synthesized by Electrospinning

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Zinc oxide nanofibers doped with aluminum oxide were prepared by sol–gel processing and electrospinning techniques using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), zinc acetate and aluminum acetate as precursors. The resulting nanofibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV–Vis spectroscopy, and current–voltage (I–V) properties. The nanofibers had diameters in the range of 60–150 nm. The incorporation of aluminum oxide resulted in a decrease in the crystallite sizes of the zinc oxide nanofibers. Aluminum oxide doped zinc oxide (AOZO) nanofibers exhibited lower bandgap energies compared to undoped zinc oxide nanofibers. However, as the aluminum content (Al/(Al + Zn) × 100%) was increased from 1.70 at.% to 3.20 at.% in the electrospinning solution, the bandgap energy increased resulting in lower conductivity. The electrical conductivity of the AOZO samples was found to depend on the amount of aluminum dopant in the matrix as reflected in the changes in oxidation state elucidated from XPS data. Electrospinning was found to be a productive, simple, and easy method for tuning the bandgap energy and conductivity of zinc oxide semiconducting nanofibers.

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Materials Science and Engineering: B





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