Fabrication and characterization of ZnO nanostructures for sensing and photonic device applications

Abstract: Nanotechnology is an emerging inter-disciplinary paradigm which encompasses diverse fields of science and engineering converge at the nanoscale. This nanoscale science and nanostructure engineering have well demonstrated in the fabrication of sensors/transducers devices with faster response time and better sensitivity then the planer version of the sensor’s configurations. Nanotechnology is not just to grow/fabricate nanostructures by just mixing nanoscale materials together but it requires the ability to understand and to precisely manipulate and control of the developed nanomaterials in a useful way. Nanotechnology is aiding to substantially improve, even revolutionize, many technology and industry sectors like information technology, energy, environmental science, medicine/medical instrumentation, homeland security, food safety, and transportation, among many others. Such applications of nanotechnology are delivering in both expected and unexpected ways on nanotechnology’s promise to benefit the society.The semiconductor ZnO with wide band gap (~ 3.37 eV) is a distinguish and unique material and its nanostructures have attracted great attention among the researchers due to its peculiar properties such as large exciton binding energy (60 meV) at room temperature, the high electron mobility, high thermal conductivity, good transparency and easiness of fabricating it in the different type of nanostructures. Based on all these fascinating properties, ZnO have been chosen as a suitable material for the fabrication of photonic, transducers/sensors, piezoelectric, transparent and spin electronics devices etc. The objective of the current study is to highlight the recent developments in materials and techniques for electrochemical sensing and hetrostructure light emitting diodes (LEDs) luminescence properties based on the different ZnO nanostructures. The sensor devices fabricated and characterized in the work were applied to determine and monitor the real changes of the chemical or biochemical species. We have successfully demonstrated the application of our fabricated devices as primary transducers/sensors for the determination of extracellular glucose and the glucose inside the human fat cells and frog cells using the potentiometric technique. Moreover, the fabricated ZnO based nanosensors have also been applied for the selective determination of uric acid, urea and metal ions successfully. This thesis relates specifically to zinc oxide nanostructure based electrochemical sensors and photonic device (LED) applications.