Can Aqueous Synthesized ZnO be Our Future Semiconductor? F. F. Lange Materials Department UCSB, 93106 Interest in ZnO has increased due to the current and potential success of GaN in lighting our world. Namely, ZnO shares many of the same properties. For example, the band gap for ZnO is 3.4 eV relative to 3.5 eV for GaN. Both have the wurtzite structure. Band gap engineering can be accomplished by substituting either Cd or Mg for Zn for production of all wavelengths for the solid state lighting industry. ZnO has an exciton binding energy that is approximately twice that of GaN. Zn is relatively abundant and ZnO, inexpensive. Although n-type ZnO can be synthesized by all vapor phase and a number of solution methods, p-type ZnO still needs to be consistently synthesized to enable light emitting diodes. Even so, ZnO is an important candidate for a wide variety of other energy related applications that include UV lasing, transparent conducting electrodes, gas sensors, solar cells, and varistors. The provocative, ‘green’ title will be addressed with our current understanding and applications of n-ZnO synthesized in water at ≤ 90°C to form epitaxial films and 3D structures.
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