Hydrothermal synthesis of ZnO nanorods: a statistical determination of the significant parameters in view of reducing the diameter
In this paper a 28-4 fractional factorial design of experiments is applied to identify the important parameters that affect the average diameter of ZnO rods, synthesized by means of a hydrothermal procedure. A water-based Zn2+ precursor is used for the formation of one-dimensional ZnO particles, without the presence of an organic additive. Results indicate that, at the investigated levels, four of the parameters have a significant effect on the mean diameter. These are the temperature, the heating rate, stirring and an ultrasonic pre-treatment of the precursor solution. Experiments carried out with zinc acetate and zinc chloride do not show a significant difference in rod diameter. Other parameters that do not show a significant effect are the concentration of Zn2+, the molar ratio between the hydroxyl and the zinc ions, and the reaction time. Interactions are observed between stirring and an ultrasonic pre-treatment and between the zinc concentration and the OH:Zn ratio. By fixing the significant factors at their optimal value it is possible to decrease the mean diameter. The particles are characterized by means of x-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).