In this dissertation, methods to synthesize ZnO are reported. First, zinc oxide nanoparticles were synthesized with small amounts of transition metal ions to create materials called dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS). We employed a low temperature sol-gel method that produces ZnO nanoparticles of reproducible size and incorporates cobalt, nickel, and manganese ions into the nanoparticles. Conditions were controlled such that a range of amounts of Co, Ni, and Mn were incorporated. The incorporation was tracked by color changes in the white ZnO powder to blue for Co, green for Ni and yellow for Mn. XRD measurements showed the nanoparticles were on the order of 10 nm in diameter and had a wurtzite structure. Magnetic measurements showed a change from diamagnetic to paramagnetic behavior with increasing concentration of metal dopants. Second, formation of ZnO single crystal hexagonal prisms from a sol-gel method is presented. The method required water, zinc acetate, and ethanolamine to create a gel of zinc hydroxide and zinc hydroxide acetate, which upon heating formed single crystal hexagonal prisms. Characterization of the gel was done by XRD as well as XRD high temperature chamber (HTK) to determine the role of temperature in prism formation. SEM images showed hexagonal prisms were of uniform size (0.5 × 2 µm.) TEM and electron diffraction images showed a change from randomly oriented particles to an ordered single crystal after heating. Water and the acetate salt of zinc proved to be critical to prism formation. Lastly, we report absorption and fluorescence properties of synthesized oligothiophenes and oligothiophene-ruthenium complexes that are bound to CdSe nanoparticles. Their ability to act as sensitizers and charge transfer junctions was tested. It was found that fluorescence of CdSe nanoparticles was quenched when they were bound to the oligothiophenes, and that the fluorescence of the oligothiophenes was also quenched. The fluorescence lifetimes of the quenched species were shortened.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


Document Type





ZnO, nanoparticles, hexagonal prims, sol-gel, SEM, TEM, XRD, XRD-HTK, VSM, CdSe