Chemistry

Thin Films from Thin Solutions

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Science  11 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5592, pp. 325
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5592.325d

Surfactants can be used during the growth of oxide materials to create micelles that pattern the material at nanometer scale. Often the concentration of surfactant needed to create micelles is high and leads to difficulties in removing these organic molecules from the final product. Choi et al. show that thin films of nanostructured ZnO can be formed at low surfactant concentrations (as low as 0.1 weight %) on electrode interfaces. They take advantage of the electrostatic potential at the surface to induce micelle formation as well as the electrochemical formation of OH (via the reduction of nitrate ions), which raises the pH and helps to deposit ZnO from solution at the interface. The ZnO particles formed have wall thicknesses and interlayer spacings of about 1.5 nm. — PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja0275562 (2002).

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