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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011, Article ID 390621, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Two Novel Solution-Based Routes for the Synthesis of Equiaxed ZnO Nanoparticles

1Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Institute for Materials Research, Hasselt University, Agoralaan Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
2Division Group IMOMEC, IMEC vzw, Agoralaan Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
3VerpakkingsCentrum, XIOS Hogeschool Limburg, Agoralaan Building H, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

Received 23 December 2010; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: Rakesh Joshi

Copyright © 2011 K. Elen 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.


Due to a dominant one-dimensional growth rate, nanoparticles of zinc oxide often show a rodlike morphology. As a result, the synthesis of small spherical nanoparticles of undoped ZnO remains challenging. This paper presents two procedures that successfully produce a powder consisting of equiaxed zinc oxide nanoparticles: one using a polyethylene glycol- (PEG-) assisted solvothermal method and the other by calcination of zinc oxalate obtained from a microemulsion-mediated method. In the latter, zinc-substituted aerosol OT (AOT) is used as a surfactant. The samples are characterized by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. Both synthesis techniques produce nanoparticles with similar sizes in the range of 10 to 20 nm. Dense aggregates observed in the calcined powder are infrequent in the case of the solvothermal method.