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Creation of Gold Nanoparticles in ZnO by Ion Implantation–DFT and Experimental Studies

Cajzl, J.; Jeníčková, K.; Nekvindová, P.; Michalcová, A.; Veselý, M.; Macková, A.; Malinský, P.; Jágerová, A.; Mikšová, R.; Akhmadaliev, S.

Three different crystallographic orientations of the wurtzite ZnO structure (labeled as c-plane, a-plane and m-plane) were implanted with Au + ions using various energies and fluences to form gold nanoparticles (GNPs). The ion implantation process was followed by annealing at 600°C in an oxygen atmosphere to decrease the number of unwanted defects and improve luminescence properties. With regard to our previous publications, the paper provides a summary of theoretical and experimental results, i.e., both DFT and FLUX simulations, as well as experimental results from TEM, HRTEM, RBS, RBS/C, Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence. From the results, it follows that in the ZnO structure, implanted gold atoms are located in random interstitial positions—experimentally, the amount of interstitial gold atoms increased with increasing ion implantation fluence. During ion implantation and subsequent annealing, the metal clusters and nanoparticles with sizes from 2 to 20 nm were formed. The crystal structure of the resulting gold was not cubic (confirmed by diffraction patterns), but it had a hexagonal close-packed (hcp) arrangement. The ion implantation of gold leads to the creation of Zn and O interstitial defects and extended defects with distinct character in various crystallographic cuts of ZnO, where significant O-sublattice disordering occurred in m-plane ZnO.

Keywords: gold; ZnO; nanoparticles; ion implantation; luminescence; DFT; RBS

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Publ.-Id: 31948