A hydrothermal method to grow vertical-aligned ZnO nanorod arrays on ZnO films obtained by atomic layer deposition (ALD) is presented. The growth of ZnO nanorods is studied as function of the crystallographic orientation of the ZnO films deposited on silicon (100) substrates. Different thicknesses of ZnO films around 40 to 180 nm were obtained and characterized before carrying out the growth process by hydrothermal methods. A textured ZnO layer with preferential direction in the normal c-axes is formed on substrates by the decomposition of diethylzinc to provide nucleation sites for vertical nanorod growth. Crystallographic orientation of the ZnO nanorods and ZnO-ALD films was determined by X-ray diffraction analysis. Composition, morphologies, length, size, and diameter of the nanorods were studied using a scanning electron microscope and energy dispersed x-ray spectroscopy analyses. In this work, it is demonstrated that crystallinity of the ZnO-ALD films plays an important role in the vertical-aligned ZnO nanorod growth. The nanorod arrays synthesized in solution had a diameter, length, density, and orientation desirable for a potential application as photosensitive materials in the manufacture of semiconductor-polymer solar cells.
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