Parametric analysis of the growth of colloidal ZnO nanoparticles synthesized in alcoholic medium


The growth kinetics of nanosized ZnO was studied considering the influence of different parameters (mixing degree, temperature, alcohol chain length, reactant concentration and Zn/OH ratios) on the synthesis reaction and modelling the outputs using typical kinetic growth models, which were then evaluated by means of a sensitivity analysis. The Zn/OH ratio, the temperature and the alcohol chain length were found to be essential parameters to control the growth of ZnO nanoparticles, whereas zinc acetate concentration (for Zn/OH = 0.625) and the stirring during the ageing stage were shown to not have significant influence on the particle size growth. This last operational parameter was for the first time investigated for nanoparticles synthesized in 1-pentanol, and it is of outmost importance for the implementation of continuous industrial processes for mass production of nanosized ZnO and energy savings in the process. Concerning the nanoparticle growth modelling, the results show a different pattern from the more commonly accepted diffusion-limited Ostwald ripening process, i.e. the Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner (LSW) model. Indeed, this study shows that oriented attachment occurs during the early stages whereas for the later stages the particle growth is well represented by the LSW model. This conclusion contributes to clarify some controversy found in the literature regarding the kinetic model which better represents the ZnO NPs' growth in alcoholic medium.



subject category

Chemistry; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Fonseca, AS; Figueira, PA; Pereira, AS; Santos, RJ; Trindade, T; Nunes, MI

our authors


This work was financed by national research grants PTDC/EQU-EQU/098617/2008, PTDC/QEQ-FTT/0041/2014 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER, by project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006984-Associate Laboratory LSRE-LCM funded by FEDER through COMPETE2020 Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizacao (POCI) and by FCT-Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia.

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