ZnO nanorods (NRs) grown by chemical bath deposition (CBD) are among the most promising semiconducting nanostructures currently investigated for a variety of applications. Still, contrasting experimental results appear in the literature on the microscopic mechanisms leading to high aspect ratio and vertically aligned ZnO NRs. Here, we report on CBD of ZnO NRs using Zn nitrate salt and hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA), evidencing a double role of HMTA in the NRs growth mechanism. Beyond the well-established pH buffering activity, HMTA is shown to introduce a strong steric hindrance effect, biasing growth along the c-axis and ensuring the vertical arrangement. This twofold function of HMTA should be taken into account for avoiding detrimental phenomena such as merging or suppression of NRs, which occur at low HMTA concentration.
American Chemical Society
4 Dec 2014
Volume: 118 Issue: 48 Pages: 28189-28195
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C