Date: 01 Dec 2012

Synthesis, structural and optical properties of Ni-doped ZnO micro-spheres

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Ni doped ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized by a simple chemical method at low temperature with Ni:Zn atomic ratio from 0 to 5 %. The synthesis process is based on the hydrolysis of zinc acetate dihydrate and nickel acetate tetrahydrate followed by heat treatment at 65 °C under refluxing using methanol as a solvent. X-ray diffraction analysis reveals that the Ni-doped ZnO crystallizes in a wurtzite structure with crystal size of 4–11 nm. These nanocrystals self-aggregated themselves into hollow spheres of size of 600–170 nm. High resolution transmission electron microscopy image shows that each sphere is made up of numerous nanoparticles of average diameter 4 nm. The XRD patterns, Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy micrographs of doping of Ni in ZnO are confirmed the formation of micro-spheres. Furthermore, the UV–vis. spectra and photoluminescence spectra of the Ni-doped ZnO nanoparticles were also investigated. The band gap of the nanoparticles can be tuned in the range of 3.55–3.36 eV by the use of the dopants. The observed red shift in the band gap from UV–visible analysis and near band edge UV emission with Ni doping may be considered to be related to the incorporation of Ni ions into the Zn site of the ZnO lattice.