Burstein–Moss shift and room temperature near-band-edge luminescence in lithium-doped zinc oxide
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Nanopowders of pure and lithium-doped semiconducting ZnO (Zn1−xLixO, where x= 0, 0.01, 0.03, 0.06, 0.09 and 0.15 in atomic percent (at.%)) are prepared by PEG-assisted low-temperature hydrothermal method. The average crystallite size is calculated using Debye–Scherrer formula and corrected for strain-induced broadening by Williamson–Hall (W–H) plot. The peak shift in XRD and the lattice constant of ZnO as a function of unit cell composition are predicted by Vegard’s law. The evolution of ZnO nanostructures from rod-shaped to particle nature is observed from TEM images and the influence of dopant on the morphology is investigated. The optical absorption measurement marks an indication that the incorporation of lithium ion into the lattice of ZnO widens the optical band gap energy from ∼2.60 to ∼3.20 eV. The near band edge (NBE) emission peak centered at ∼3.10 eV is considered to be the dominant emission peak in the PL spectra. Blue emission peak is not observed in doped ZnO, thus promoting defect-free nanoparticles. The Burstein–Moss shift serves as a qualitative tool to analyze the widening of the optical band gap and to study the shape of the NBE luminescence in doped ZnO nanopowders. FT-IR spectra are used to identify the strong metal–oxide (Zn–O) interaction.
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