The objectives of this project were to synthesise semi-conducting ceramic nanoparticles including zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminium doped zinc oxide (AZO) through a wet chemistry route to obtain nanoparticles with a controlled size and morphology.
Wet chemistry methods (co-precipitation method and hydrothermal method) were used to synthesise ZnO and AZO particles. In the synthesis, various compounds and morphologies were synthesised. ZnO, Zn(OH)2 and unknown phases were co-precipitated, with only ZnO obtained following hydrothermal treatment. Morphologies ranging from platelets, flower-like, nanorods and microflowers were obtained. Particle sizes as small as 11 nm were characterised. Nanorod and nanosphere AZO particles were also synthesised with the results indicated the average grain size decreasing with increasing Al atomic content.
Three orthogonal arrays were carried out to investigate the effects of the reaction parameters on the size and morphology of ZnO particles. The applicability of the orthogonal array was successful, with the optimum parameters of both hydrothermal experiments showing an increase in aspect ratio. The L/D ratio of ZnO nanorods obtained in the confirmation experiment increased to 9.4 which was larger than the ZnO synthesised using other reaction conditions (1.0 8.0).
Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction were used to characterise the properties of the obtained particles. Morphology, crystallinity and particle size were all characterised.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.