Sunday, August 16, 2015

Conclusions & Future Implications: Osuji Lab

As my four weeks came dwindling down, my mentor and I were able to conclude our studies and determine what states provided the most optimal results of ZnO nanorod growth. Through the variation of acetone concentration, revolutions per minutes of spin coating, and the growth temperature, we somewhat optimized conditions for unseeded brass substrates. The conditions necessary for the optimal growth on brass would be a 15% acetone concentration and an RPM of 2000 revolutions. We ultimately decided, however, that unseeded substrates do not provide adequate control of array morphology as was shown by the uncorrelated molecular weight nanorod diameter data. During the last week, we seeded brass substrates with the hydrolyzed zinc solution expecting that the layer would fill the scratches on the brass substrates. This method worked, and we achieved more uniform growth. Although this process does not eliminate the time-consuming seeding step, it does provide an alternative set of substrates that are cheaper than silicon.

Two future implications I’ve found are necessary for further optimization of our studies are:
  1. A Decrease in Substrate Roughness 
  2. ZnO Nanotube Array Formation Through Ethanol Reconstruction
A decrease in substrate roughness (including the absence of micro-scratches) will produce a better quality of arrays. Creating a forest of ZnO nanotubes would be an important expansion for the development in photovoltaic devices. Nanotubes exhibit nearly twice as much surface area as opposed to rod-like structures that are within similar dimensions.

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