Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 12985–12995 | Cite as

Controllable synthesis of ZnO nanoflowers by the modified sol–gel method

  • Seyedeh Fatemeh Mousavi
  • Fatemeh Davar
  • M. R. Loghman-Estarki


In the present study, flower-like and semi-spherical ZnO nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized by the modified sol–gel method using zinc nitrate (Zn (NO3)2·6H2O) as a Zn2+ source and triethanolamine, (C6H15O3N and citric acid (C6H8O7) as chelating and gel agent, respectively. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy and photoluminescence techniques. The XRD results revealed the hexagonal wurtzite structure were obtained for all the samples. Then, the photocatalytic activity of ZnO nanoparticles was examined for the degradation of methyl blue and methyl orange, methylene red solutions.


Methyl Blue Photocatalytic Activity Methyl Orange Zinc Nitrate Hexahydrate Valence Band Electron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author should thank from Isfahan University of Technology for financial support of this project.


  1. 1.
    M. Amini, M. Ashrafi, Photocatalytic degradation of some organic dyes under solar light irradiation using TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles. Nanochem. Res. 1(1), 79–86 (2016)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Saliani, R. Jalal, E.K. Goharshadi, Mechanism of oxidative stress involved in the toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles against eukaryotic cells. Nanomed. J 3(1), 1–14 (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. Moeinian, K. Akhbari, Effect of the pillar ligand on preventing agglomeration of ZnO nanoparticles prepared from Zn(II) metal-organic frameworks. Nanochem. Res. 1(1), 64–69 (2016)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Majedi, F. Davar, A.R. Abbasi, Metal-organic framework materials as nano photocatalyst. Int. J. Nano Dimens. 7(1), 1–14 (2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S. Janitabar Darzi, A. Mahjoub, A. Bayat, Sulfur modified ZnO nanorod as a high performance photocatalyst for degradation of Congoredazo dye. Int. J. Nano Dimens. 6(4), 425–431 (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    N. Assi, A.A. Mehrdad Sharif, Q.S. Manuchehri Naeini, Synthesis, characterization and investigation photocatalytic degradation of Nitro Phenol with nano ZnO and ZrO2. Int. J. Nano Dimens. 5(4), 387–391 (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    N. Assi, A.A. Mehrdad Sharif, H. Bakhtiari, Q.S.M. Naeini, Photo catalytic property of ZnO and Mn-ZnO nanoparticles in removal of Cibacet Turquoise blue G from aquatic solution. Int. J Nano Dimens. (IJND) 5(2), 145–154 (2014)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. Soltaninezhad, A. Aminifar, Study nanostructures of semiconductor zinc oxide (ZnO) as a photocatalyst for the degradation of organic pollutants. Int. J. Nano Dimens. 2(2), 137–145 (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M.A. Habib, M. Muslim, M.T. Shahadat, Photocatalytic decolorization of crystal violet in aqueous nano-ZnO suspension under visible light irradiation. J. Nanostruct. Chem. 3, 70 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    M.A. Ali, M.R. Idris, Fabrication of ZnO nanoparticles by solution-combustion method for the photocatalytic degradation of organic dye. J. Nanostruct. Chem. 3, 36 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    B. Kaleji, M. Mousaei, H. Halakouie, A. Ahmadi, Sol–gel synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles and ZnO-TiO2–SiO2 nanocomposites and their photo-catalyst investigation in methylene blue degradation. J. Nanostruct. 5(3), 219–225 (2015)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    A. Anaraki Firooz, A low temperature hydrothermal synthesis of ZnO doped SnO2 nanoparticles with high photocatalytic activity. Int. J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 12(1), 1–5 (2016)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    D. Segets, J. Gradl, R.K. Taylor, V. Vassilev, W. Peukert, Analysis of optical absorbance spectra for the determination of ZnO nanoparticle size distribution, solubility, and surface energy. ACS Nano 3, 1703–1710 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    X. Lou, Development of ZnO series ceramic semiconductor gas sensors. J. Sens. Trans. Technol. 3, 1–5 (1991)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    R. Qiu, D. Zhang, Y. Mo, L. Song, E. Brewer, X. Huang, Y. Xiong, Photocatalytic activity of polymer-modified ZnO under visible light irradiation. J. Hazard. Mater. 156, 80–85 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    M. Kitano, M. Shiojiri, Bénard convection ZnO/resin lacquer coating—a new approach to electrostatic dissipative coating. Powder Technol. 93, 267–273 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    I. Rosso, C. Galletti, M. Bizzi, G. Saracco, V. Specchia, Zinc oxide sorbents for the removal of hydrogen sulfide from syngas. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 42, 1688–1697 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    H.M. Lin, S.J. Tzeng, P.J. Hsiau, W.L. Tsai, Electrode effects on gas sensing properties of nanocryctalline zinc oxide. Nanostruct. Mater. 10, 465–477 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    G.M. Hamminga, G. Mul, J.A. Moulijn, Real-time in situ ATR-FTIR analysis of the liquid phase hydrogenation of γ-butyrolactone over Cu-ZnO catalysts: a mechanistic study by varying lactone ring size. Chem. Eng. Sci. 59(22–23), 5479–5485 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    M. Singhal, V. Chhabra, P. Kang, D.O. Shah, Synthesis of Zno nanoparticles for varistor application using Zn-substituted aerosol ot microemulsion. Mater. Res. Bull. 32, 239–247 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    M.L. Curridal, R. Comparelli, P.D. Cozzli, G. Mascolo, A. Agostiano, Colloidal oxide nanoparticles for the photocatalytic degradation of organic dye. Mater. Sci. Eng. C 23, 285–289 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    C. Feldmann, Polyol-mediated synthesis of nanoscale functional materials. Adv. Funct. Mater. 13, 101–107 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    G.P. Fotou, S.E. Pratsinis, Photocatalytic destruction of phenol and salicylic acid with aerosol-made commercial titania powders. Chem. Eng. Commun. 151, 251–269 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Z.S. Wang, C.H. Huang, Y.Y. Huang, Y.J. Hou, P.H. Xie, B.W. Zhang, H.M. Cheng, A highly efficient solar cell made from a dye-modified ZnO-covered TiO2 nanoporous electrode. Chem. Mater. 13, 678–682 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    J.H. Kim, W.C. Choi, H.Y. Kim, Y. Kang, Y.-K. Park, Preparation of mono-dispersed mixed metal oxide micro hollow spheres by homogeneous precipitation in a micro precipitator. Powder Technol. 153, 166–175 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    T. Tsuzuki, P.G. McCormick, ZnO nanoparticles synthesised by mechanochemical processing. Scripta Mater. 44, 1731–1734 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    D. Mondelaers, G. Vanhoyland, H. Van den Rul, J.D. Haen, M.K. Van Bael, J. Mullens, L.C. Van Poucke, Synthesis of ZnO nanopowder via an aqueous acetate–citrate gelation method. Mater. Res. Bull. 37, 901–914 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    K. Okuyama, I.W. Lenggoro, Preparation of nanoparticles via spray route. Chem. Eng. Sci. 58, 537–547 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    R. Viswanathan, G.D. Lilly, W.F. Gale, R.B. Gupta, Formation of zinc oxide–titanium dioxide composite nanoparticles in supercritical water. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 42, 5535–5540 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    F. Rataboul, C. Nayral, M.-J. Casanove, A. Maisonnat, B. Chaudret, Synthesis and characterization of monodisperse zinc and zinc oxide nanoparticles from the organometallic precursor [Zn (C6H11)2]. J. Organomet. Chem. 643–644, 307–312 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    T. Sato, T. Tanigaki, H. Suzuki, Y. Saito, O. Kido, Y. Kimura, C. Kaito, A. Takeda, S. Kaneko, Structure and optical spectrum of ZnO nanoparticles produced in RF plasma. J. Cryst. Growth 255, 313–316 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Y.W. Koh, M. Lin, C.K. Tan, Y.L. Foo, K.P. Loh, Self-assembly and selected area growth of zinc oxide nanorods on any surface promoted by an aluminum precoat. J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 11419–11425 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    B. Liu, H.C. Zeng, Hydrothermal synthesis of ZnO nanorods in the diameter regime of 50 nm. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 4430–4431 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    W.D. Yu, X.M. Li, X.D. Gao, Catalytic synthesis and structural characteristics of high-quality tetrapod-like ZnO nanocrystals by a modified vapor transport process. Cryst. Growth Des. 5(1), 151–155 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    J.M. Wang, L. Gao, Synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanoparticles assembled in one-dimensional order. Inorg. Chem. Commun. 6, 877–881 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    X.-L. Hu, Y.-J. Zhu, S.-W. Wang, Sonochemical and microwave-assisted synthesis of linked single-crystalline ZnO rods. Mater. Chem. Phys. 88, 421–426 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Z. Liu, J. Deng, J. Deng, F. Li, Fabrication and photocatalysis of CuO/ZnO nano-composites via a new method. Mater. Sci. Eng. B 150, 99–104 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    N. Mir, M. Salavati-Niasari, F. Davar, Preparation of ZnO nano-flowers and Zn glycerolate nanoplates using inorganic precursors via a convenient rout and application in dye sensitized solar cells. Chem. Eng. J. 181–182, 779–789 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    M. Salavati-Niasari, F. Davar, M. Mazaheri, Preparation of ZnO nanoparticles from [bis(acetylacetonato)zinc(II)]–oleylamine complex by thermal decomposition. Mater. Lett. 62(12–13), 1890–1892 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    W.Z. Tang, A. Huren, UV/TiO2 photocatalytic oxidation of commercial dyes in aqueous solutions. Chemosphere 31, 4157–4170 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    N. Kislov, J. Lahiri, H. Verma, D.Y. Goswami, E. Stefanakos, M. Batzill, Photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange over single crystalline ZnO: orientation dependence of photoactivity and photostability of ZnO. Langmuir 25, 3310–3315 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    S. Baruah, M. Jaisai, R. Imani, M.M. Nazhad, J. Dutta, Photocatalytic paper using zinc oxide nanorods. Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 11, 1–7 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    H. Zhu, R. Jiang, Y. Fu, Y. Guan, J. Yao, L. Xiao, G. Zeng, Effective photocatalytic decolorization of methyl orange utilizing TiO2/ZnO/chitosan nanocomposite films under simulated solar irradiation. Desalination 286, 41–48 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    M. Qamar, M. Muneer, A comparative photocatalytic activity of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide by investigating the degradation of vanillin. Desalination 249, 535–540 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    M. Nirmala, M.G. Nair, K. Rekha, A. Anukaliani, S.K. Samdarshi, R.G. Nair, Photocatalytic activity of ZnO nanopowders synthesized by DC thermal plasma. Afr. J. Basic Appl. Sci. 2, 161–166 (2010)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    S. Baruah, J. Dutta, Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 10, 013001–0130019 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    S. Liang, H. Sheng, Y. Liu, Z. Hio, Y. Lu, H. Chen, J. Cryst. Growth 225, 110 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    N. Saito, H. Haneda, T. Sekiguchi, N. Ohashi, I. Sakaguchi, K. Koumoto, Adv. Mater. 14, 418 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    W. Lv, B. Wei, L. Xu, Y. Zhao, H. Gao, J. Liu, Photocatalytic properties of hierarchical ZnO flowers synthesized by a sucrose-assisted hydrothermal method. Appl. Surf. Sci. 259, 557–561 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    C. Sánchez, J. Doria, C. Paucar, M. Hernandez, A. Mósquera, J.E. Rodríguez, A. Gómez, E. Baca, O. Morán, Nanocystalline ZnO films prepared via polymeric precursor method (Pechini). Phys. B Condens. Matter 405, 3679–3684 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    S.C. Lyu, Y. Zhang, H. Ruh, H.-J. Lee, H.-W. Shim, E.-K. Suh, C.J. Lee, Low temperature growth and photoluminescence of well-aligned zinc oxide nanowires. Chem. Phys. Lett. 363, 134–138 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    F. Davar, A. Majedi, A. Mirzaei, Green synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles and its application in the degradation of some dyes. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 98(6), 1739–1746 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    N.P. Mohabansi, V.B. Patil, N. Yenkie, A comparative study on photo degradation of methylene blue dye effluent by advanced oxidation process by using TiO2/ZnO photocatalyst. Rasayan J. Chem. 4, 814–819 (2011)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    N. Tripathy, R. Ahmad, J.E. Song, H.A. Ko, Y.-B. Hahn, G. Khang, Photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange dye by ZnO nanoneedle under UV irradiation. Mater. Lett. 136, 171–174 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    R. Comparelli, P.D. Cozzoli, M.L. Curri, A. Agostiano, G. Mascolo, G. Lovecchio, Photocatalytic degradation of methyl-red by immobilized nanoparticles of TiO2 and ZnO. Water Sci. Technol. 49, 183–188 (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyedeh Fatemeh Mousavi
    • 1
  • Fatemeh Davar
    • 1
  • M. R. Loghman-Estarki
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIslamic Republic of Iran
  2. 2.Department of Materials EngineeringMalek Ashtar University of TechnologyShahin ShahrIslamic Republic of Iran

Personalised recommendations