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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011, Article ID 145963, 9 pages
Research Article

Precipitation of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in Bicontinuous Microemulsions

Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada, Boulevard Enrique Reyna Hermosillo No. 140, 25253 Saltillo, Coah, Mexico

Received 13 August 2011; Accepted 8 September 2011

Academic Editor: Anukorn Phuruangrat

Copyright © 2011 Liliana E. Romo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Zinc oxide nanoparticles were obtained directly, avoiding the calcination step, by precipitation at 70°C in bicontinuous microemulsions stabilized with a mixture of surfactants sodium bis (2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate/sodium dodecyl sulfate (2/1, wt./wt.) containing 0.7 M zinc nitrate aqueous solution. Two concentrations of aqueous solution of precipitating agent sodium hydroxide were used under different dosing times on microemulsion. Characterization by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy allowed us to identify particles with an acicular rod-like morphology and a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure as small as 8.5 and 30 nm in average diameter and length, respectively. Productivities much higher than those typical in the preparation of zinc oxide nanoparticles via reverse microemulsions were obtained. Particle size was the same at the two studied sodium hydroxide concentrations, while it increases as dosing time of the precipitant agent increases. It is believed that the surfactant film on the microemulsion channels restricts the particle diameter growth.