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Atomic Layer Deposition of ZnO on Mesoporous Silica: Insights into Growth Behavior of ZnO via In-Situ Thermogravimetric Analysis

Ingale, Piyush; Knemeyer, Kristian; Piernavieja Hermida, Mar; Naumann d’Alnoncourt, Raoul; Thomas, Arne; Rosowski, Frank

ZnO is a remarkable material with many applications in electronics and catalysis. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ZnO on flat substrates is an industrially applied and well-known process. Various studies describe the growth of ZnO layers on flat substrates. However, the growth characteristics and reaction mechanisms of atomic layer deposition of ZnO on mesoporous powders have not been well studied. This study investigates the ZnO ALD process based on diethylzinc (DEZn) and water with silica powder as substrate. In-situ thermogravimetric analysis gives direct access to the growth rates and reaction mechanisms of this process. Ex-situ analytics, e.g., N2 sorption analysis, XRD, XRF, HRTEM, and STEM-EDX mapping, confirm deposition of homogenous and thin films of ZnO on SiO2. In summary, this study offers new insights into the fundamentals of an ALD process on high surface area powders.
Published in: Nanomaterials, 10.3390/nano10050981, MDPI