Structural, optical and fluorescence properties of wet chemically synthesized ZnO:Pd2+ nanocrystals
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This paper presents the structural, optical and photoluminescence properties of wet chemically synthesized ZnO: Pd2+ colloidal nanocrystals characterised by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic techniques. Increase in lattice parameters from diffraction data indicates the incorporation of Pd2+ in the ZnO crystal lattice. A small amount of dopant favours the formation of stoichiometric ZnO nanoparticles; otherwise, non-stoichiometric nanocrystal formation was observed from the EDS data. The optical gap was found to decrease with the doping concentration, except for the small dopant level of 0.05% of Pd2+ where an increase in the optical gap was observed. Intensities of characteristic luminescence bands for pure ZnO nanocrystals (357, 387 and 420 nm) were found to decrease with the increasing Pd2+ concentration, and two new bands centred at 528 and 581 nm for 0.5% Pd2+ concentration were observed. These results have been explained on the basis of change in the oxygen vacancy-related defects and/or formation of new trap states which in turn affect the luminescence properties of ZnO:Pd2+ nanocrystals, which are important in the realisation of visible light-emitting solid-state devices.