ZnO nucleation into trititanate nanotubes by ALD equipment techniques, a new way to functionalize layered metal oxides

Mabel Moreno, Miryam Arredondo, Quentin M Ramasse, Matthew McLaren, Philine Stötzner, Stefan Förster, Eglantina Benavente, Caterina Salgado, Sindy Devis, Paula Solar, Luis Velasquez, Guillermo González

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In this contribution, we explore the potential of atomic layer deposition (ALD) techniques for developing new semiconductor metal oxide composites. Specifically, we investigate the functionalization of multi-wall trititanate nanotubes, H2Ti3O7 NTs (sample T1) with zinc oxide employing two different ALD approaches: vapor phase metalation (VPM) using diethylzinc (Zn(C2H5)2, DEZ) as a unique ALD precursor, and multiple pulsed vapor phase infiltration (MPI) using DEZ and water as precursors. We obtained two different types of tubular H2Ti3O7 species containing ZnO in their structures. Multi-wall trititanate nanotubes with ZnO intercalated inside the tube wall sheets were the main products from the VPM infiltration (sample T2). On the other hand, MPI (sample T3) principally leads to single-wall nanotubes with a ZnO hierarchical bi-modal functionalization, thin film coating, and surface decorated with ZnO particles. The products were mainly characterized by electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray, powder X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. An initial evaluation of the optical characteristics of the products demonstrated that they behaved as semiconductors. The IR study revealed the role of water, endogenous and/or exogenous, in determining the structure and properties of the products. The results confirm that ALD is a versatile tool, promising for developing tailor-made semiconductor materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7698
Number of pages18
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 08 Apr 2021


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