Probing the electronic structure of ZnO nanowires by valence electron energy loss spectroscopy

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2006.06.003
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TypeArticle
Journal titleMicron
Volume38
Issue4
Pages346353; # of pages: 8
SubjectElectronic structure; Nanowire; VEELS; ZnO
AbstractValence electron energy loss spectroscopy in a transmission electron microscope is employed to investigate the electronic structure of ZnO nanowires with diameter ranging from 20 to 100?nm. Its excellent spatial resolution enables this technique to explore the electronic states of a single nanowire. We found that all of the basic electronic structure characteristics of the ZnO nanowires, including the 3.3?eV band gap, the single electron interband transitions at [similar, equals]9.5,[similar, equals]13.5,[thin space]and[thin space][similar, equals]21.8[thin space]eV, and the bulk plasmon oscillation at ~18.8?eV, resemble those of the bulk ZnO. Momentum transfer resolved energy loss spectra suggest that the 13.5?eV excitation is actually consisted of two weak excitations at [similar, equals]12.8[thin space]and[thin space][similar, equals]14.8[thin space]eV, which originate from transitions of two groups of the Zn 3d electrons to the empty density of states in the conduction band, with a dipole-forbidden nature. The energy loss spectra taken from single nanowires of different diameters show several size-dependent features, including an increase in the oscillator strength of the surface plasmon resonance at [similar, equals]11.5[thin space]eV, a broadening of the bulk plasmon peak, and splitting of the O 2s transition at [similar, equals]21.8[thin space]eV into two peaks, which coincides with a redshift of the bulk plasmon peak, when the nanowire diameter decreases. All these observations can be well explained by the increased surface/volume ratio in nanowires of small diameter.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; National Institute for Nanotechnology
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number12339141
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Record identifier7d02673a-cf1c-41f4-9cde-8dbe53ed187b
Record created2009-09-11
Record modified2016-05-09
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