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1.  Facile Pyrolytic Synthesis of Silicon Nanowires 
Solid-state electronics  2010;54(10):1185-1191.
One-dimensional nanostructures such as silicon nanowires (SiNW) are attractive candidates for low power density electronic and optoelectronic devices including sensors. A new simple method for SiNW bulk synthesis[1, 2] is demonstrated in this work, which is inexpensive and uses low toxicity materials, thereby offering a safe, energy efficient and green approach. The method uses low flammability liquid phenylsilanes, offering a safer avenue for SiNW growth compared with using silane gas. A novel, duo-chamber glass vessel is used to create a low-pressure environment where SiNWs are grown through vapor-liquid-solid mechanism using gold nanoparticles as a catalyst. The catalyst decomposes silicon precursor vapors of diphenylsilane and triphenylsilane and precipitates single crystal SiNWs, which appear to grow parallel to the substrate surface. This opens up possibilities for synthesizing nano-junctions amongst wires which is important for the grid architecture of nanoelectronics proposed by Likharev[3]. Even bulk synthesis of SiNW is feasible using sacrificial substrates such as CaCO3 that can be dissolved post-synthesis. Furthermore, by dissolving appropriate dopants in liquid diphenylsilane, a controlled doping of the nanowires is realized without the use of toxic gases and expensive mass flow controllers. Upon boron doping, we observe a characteristic red shift in photoluminescence spectra. In summary, an inexpensive and versatile method for SiNW is presented that makes these exotic materials available to any lab at low cost.
doi:10.1016/j.sse.2010.05.011
PMCID: PMC2919782  PMID: 20711489
Silicon nanowires; dopants; photoluminescence; gold nanoparticles; HR-TEM
2.  n-Type Doping of Vapor–Liquid–Solid Grown GaAs Nanowires 
In this letter, n-type doping of GaAs nanowires grown by metal–organic vapor phase epitaxy in the vapor–liquid–solid growth mode on (111)B GaAs substrates is reported. A low growth temperature of 400°C is adjusted in order to exclude shell growth. The impact of doping precursors on the morphology of GaAs nanowires was investigated. Tetraethyl tin as doping precursor enables heavily n-type doped GaAs nanowires in a relatively small process window while no doping effect could be found for ditertiarybutylsilane. Electrical measurements carried out on single nanowires reveal an axially non-uniform doping profile. Within a number of wires from the same run, the donor concentrations ND of GaAs nanowires are found to vary from 7 × 1017 cm-3 to 2 × 1018 cm-3. The n-type conductivity is proven by the transfer characteristics of fabricated nanowire metal–insulator-semiconductor field-effect transistor devices.
doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9815-7
PMCID: PMC3212212
Nanowires; MOVPE; Gallium arsenide; Doping; Silicon; Tin; Optoelectronics
3.  A Novel Way for Synthesizing Phosphorus-Doped Zno Nanowires 
We developed a novel approach to synthesize phosphorus (P)-doped ZnO nanowires by directly decomposing zinc phosphate powder. The samples were demonstrated to be P-doped ZnO nanowires by using scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction spectra, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectrum, Raman spectra and photoluminescence measurements. The chemical state of P was investigated by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) analyses in individual ZnO nanowires. P was found to substitute at oxygen sites (PO), with the presence of anti-site P on Zn sites (PZn). P-doped ZnO nanowires were high resistance and the related P-doping mechanism was discussed by combining EELS results with electrical measurements, structure characterization and photoluminescence measurements. Our method provides an efficient way of synthesizing P-doped ZnO nanowires and the results help to understand the P-doping mechanism.
doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9805-9
PMCID: PMC3211869
ZnO; Nanowires; P-doped; Zinc phosphate
4.  Design and Synthesis of Diverse Functional Kinked Nanowire Structures for Nanoelectronic Bioprobes 
Nano letters  2013;13(2):746-751.
Functional kinked nanowires (KNWs) represent a new class of nanowire building blocks, in which functional devices, for example, nanoscale field-effect transistors (nanoFETs), are encoded in geometrically controlled nanowire superstructures during synthesis. The bottom-up control of both structure and function of KNWs enables construction of spatially isolated point-like nanoelectronic probes that are especially useful for monitoring biological systems where finely tuned feature size and structure are highly desired. Here we present three new types of functional KNWs including (1) the zero-degree KNW structures with two parallel heavily-doped arms of U-shaped structures with a nanoFET at the tip of the “U”, (2) series multiplexed functional KNW integrating multi-nanoFETs along the arm and at the tips of V-shaped structures, and (3) parallel multiplexed KNWs integrating nanoFETs at the two tips of W-shaped structures. First, U-shaped KNWs were synthesized with separations as small as 650 nm between the parallel arms, and used to fabricate three-dimensional nanoFET probes at least 3 times smaller than previous V-shaped designs. In addition, multiple nanoFETs were encoded during synthesis in one of arms/tip of V-shaped and distinct arms/tips of W-shaped KNWs. These new multiplexed KNW structures were structurally-verified by optical and electron microscopy of dopant-selective etched samples, and electrically-characterized using scanning gate microscopy and transport measurements. The facile design and bottom-up synthesis of these diverse functional KNWs provides a growing toolbox of building blocks for fabricating highly compact and multiplexed three-dimensional nanoprobes for applications in life sciences, including intra-cellular and deep tissue/cell recordings.
doi:10.1021/nl304435z
PMCID: PMC3572243  PMID: 23273386
silicon nanowire; nanoprobe; nanosensor; field-effect transistor
5.  ZnO Nanowires Synthesized by Vapor Phase Transport Deposition on Transparent Oxide Substrates 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(8):1333-1339.
Zinc oxide nanowires have been synthesized without using metal catalyst seed layers on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates by a modified vapor phase transport deposition process using a double-tube reactor. The unique reactor configuration creates a Zn-rich vapor environment that facilitates formation and growth of zinc oxide nanoparticles and wires (20–80 nm in diameter, up to 6 μm in length, density <40 nm apart) at substrate temperatures down to 300°C. Electron microscopy and other characterization techniques show nanowires with distinct morphologies when grown under different conditions. The effect of reaction parameters including reaction time, temperature, and carrier gas flow rate on the size, morphology, crystalline structure, and density of ZnO nanowires has been investigated. The nanowires grown by this method have a diameter, length, and density appropriate for use in fabricating hybrid polymer/metal oxide nanostructure solar cells. For example, it is preferable to have nanowires no more than 40 nm apart to minimize exciton recombination in polymer solar cells.
doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9649-3
PMCID: PMC2897031  PMID: 20676196
Zinc oxide; Semiconducting II–VI materials; Nanowires; Chemical vapor deposition; Low temperature; Transparent oxide
6.  ZnO Nanowires Synthesized by Vapor Phase Transport Deposition on Transparent Oxide Substrates 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(8):1333-1339.
Zinc oxide nanowires have been synthesized without using metal catalyst seed layers on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates by a modified vapor phase transport deposition process using a double-tube reactor. The unique reactor configuration creates a Zn-rich vapor environment that facilitates formation and growth of zinc oxide nanoparticles and wires (20–80 nm in diameter, up to 6 μm in length, density <40 nm apart) at substrate temperatures down to 300°C. Electron microscopy and other characterization techniques show nanowires with distinct morphologies when grown under different conditions. The effect of reaction parameters including reaction time, temperature, and carrier gas flow rate on the size, morphology, crystalline structure, and density of ZnO nanowires has been investigated. The nanowires grown by this method have a diameter, length, and density appropriate for use in fabricating hybrid polymer/metal oxide nanostructure solar cells. For example, it is preferable to have nanowires no more than 40 nm apart to minimize exciton recombination in polymer solar cells.
doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9649-3
PMCID: PMC2897031  PMID: 20676196
Zinc oxide; Semiconducting II–VI materials; Nanowires; Chemical vapor deposition; Low temperature; Transparent oxide
7.  A catalyst-free growth of aluminum-doped ZnO nanorods by thermal evaporation 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):256.
The growth of Al:ZnO nanorods on a silicon substrate using a low-temperature thermal evaporation method is reported. The samples were fabricated within a horizontal quartz tube under controlled supply of O2 gas where Zn and Al powders were previously mixed and heated at 700°C. This allows the reactant vapors to deposit onto the substrate placed vertically above the source materials. Both the undoped and doped samples were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and photoluminescence (PL) measurements. It was observed that randomly oriented nanowires were formed with varying nanostructures as the dopant concentrations were increased from 0.6 at.% to 11.3 at.% with the appearance of ‘pencil-like’ shape at 2.4 at.%, measuring between 260 to 350 nm and 720 nm in diameter and length, respectively. The HRTEM images revealed nanorods fringes of 0.46 nm wide, an equivalent to the lattice constant of ZnO and correspond to the (0001) fringes with regard to the growth direction. The as-prepared Al:ZnO samples exhibited a strong UV emission band located at approximately 389 nm (E g  = 3.19 eV) with multiple other low intensity peaks appeared at wavelengths greater than 400 nm contributed by oxygen vacancies. The results showed the importance of Al doping that played an important role on the morphology and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures. This may led to potential nanodevices in sensor and biological applications.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-256
PMCID: PMC4050990  PMID: 24948885
Al:ZnO nanowires; Thermal evaporation; Catalyst-free
8.  Electrically Conductive and Optically Active Porous Silicon Nanowires 
Nano letters  2009;9(12):4539-4543.
We report the synthesis of vertical silicon nanowire array through a two-step metal-assisted chemical etching of highly doped n-type silicon (100) wafers in a solution of hydrofluoric acid and hydrogen peroxide. The morphology of the as-grown silicon nanowires is tunable from solid nonporous nanowires, nonporous/nanoporous core/shell nanowires, and entirely nanoporous nanowires by controlling the hydrogen peroxide concentration in the etching solution. The porous silicon nanowires retain the single crystalline structure and crystallographic orientation of the starting silicon wafer, and are electrically conductive and optically active with visible photoluminescence. The combination of electronic and optical properties in the porous silicon nanowires may provide a platform for the novel optoelectronic devices for energy harvesting, conversion and biosensing.
doi:10.1021/nl903030h
PMCID: PMC2810957  PMID: 19807130
9.  Modulation-doped growth of mosaic graphene with single-crystalline p–n junctions for efficient photocurrent generation 
Nature Communications  2012;3:1280-.
Device applications of graphene such as ultrafast transistors and photodetectors benefit from the combination of both high-quality p- and n-doped components prepared in a large-scale manner with spatial control and seamless connection. Here we develop a well-controlled chemical vapour deposition process for direct growth of mosaic graphene. Mosaic graphene is produced in large-area monolayers with spatially modulated, stable and uniform doping, and shows considerably high room temperature carrier mobility of ~5,000 cm2 V−1 s−1 in intrinsic portion and ~2,500 cm2 V−1 s−1 in nitrogen-doped portion. The unchanged crystalline registry during modulation doping indicates the single-crystalline nature of p–n junctions. Efficient hot carrier-assisted photocurrent was generated by laser excitation at the junction under ambient conditions. This study provides a facile avenue for large-scale synthesis of single-crystalline graphene p–n junctions, allowing for batch fabrication and integration of high-efficiency optoelectronic and electronic devices within the atomically thin film.
Combination of p- and n-doped graphene is important in optoelectronic applications, but spatially selective doping of graphene is challenging. This work reports large-scale growth of graphene monolayers with spatially modulation doping and built-in single-crystalline p–n junctions.
doi:10.1038/ncomms2286
PMCID: PMC3535365  PMID: 23232410
10.  Selective Iron(III) ion uptake using CuO-TiO2 nanostructure by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry 
Background
CuO-TiO2 nanosheets (NSs), a kind of nanomaterials is one of the most attracting class of transition doped semiconductor materials due to its interesting and important optical, electrical, and structural properties and has many technical applications, such as in metal ions detection, photocatalysis, Chemi-sensors, bio-sensors, solar cells and so on. In this paper the synthesis of CuO-TiO2 nanosheets by the wet-chemically technique is reported.
Methods
CuO-TiO2 NSs were prepared by a wet-chemical process using reducing agents in alkaline medium and characterized by UV/vis., FT-IR spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) etc.
Results
The structural and optical evaluation of synthesized NSs were measured by XRD pattern, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and UV–vis spectroscopy, respectively which confirmed that the obtained NSs are well-crystalline CuO-TiO2 and possessing good optical properties. The morphological analysis of CuO-TiO2 NSs was executed by FE-SEM, which confirmed that the doped products were sheet-shaped and growth in large quantity. Here, the analytical efficiency of the NSs was applied for a selective adsorption of iron(III) ion prior to detection by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The selectivity of NSs towards various metal ions, including Au(III), Cd(II), Co(II), Cr(III), Fe(III), Pd(II), and Zn(II) was analyzed.
Conclusions
Based on the selectivity study, it was confirmed that the selectivity of doped NSs phase was the most towards Fe(III) ion. The static adsorption capacity for Fe(III) was calculated to be 110.06 mgg−1. Results from adsorption isotherm also verified that the adsorption process was mainly monolayer-adsorption onto a surface containing a finite number of CuO-TiO2 NSs adsorption sites.
doi:10.1186/1752-153X-6-158
PMCID: PMC3570428  PMID: 23244218
CuO-TiO2 nanosheets; Wet-chemical process; Optical property; Structural property; Adsorption isotherm; Iron(III) ion detection
11.  Structure, morphology, and photoluminescence of porous Si nanowires: effect of different chemical treatments 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2013;8(1):383.
The structure and light-emitting properties of Si nanowires (SiNWs) fabricated by a single-step metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) process on highly boron-doped Si were investigated after different chemical treatments. The Si nanowires that result from the etching of a highly doped p-type Si wafer by MACE are fully porous, and as a result, they show intense photoluminescence (PL) at room temperature, the characteristics of which depend on the surface passivation of the Si nanocrystals composing the nanowires. SiNWs with a hydrogen-terminated nanostructured surface resulting from a chemical treatment with a hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution show red PL, the maximum of which is blueshifted when the samples are further chemically oxidized in a piranha solution. This blueshift of PL is attributed to localized states at the Si/SiO2 interface at the shell of Si nanocrystals composing the porous SiNWs, which induce an important pinning of the electronic bandgap of the Si material and are involved in the recombination mechanism. After a sequence of HF/piranha/HF treatment, the SiNWs are almost fully dissolved in the chemical solution, which is indicative of their fully porous structure, verified also by transmission electron microscopy investigations. It was also found that a continuous porous Si layer is formed underneath the SiNWs during the MACE process, the thickness of which increases with the increase of etching time. This supports the idea that porous Si formation precedes nanowire formation. The origin of this effect is the increased etching rate at sites with high dopant concentration in the highly doped Si material.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-383
PMCID: PMC3847149  PMID: 24025542
Si nanowires; Metal-assisted chemical etching; Porous silicon nanowires; Photoluminescence; Structure; Morphology
12.  The design, fabrication, and photocatalytic utility of nanostructured semiconductors: focus on TiO2-based nanostructures 
Recent advances in basic fabrication techniques of TiO2-based nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanowires, nanoplatelets, and both physical- and solution-based techniques have been adopted by various research groups around the world. Our research focus has been mainly on various deposition parameters used for fabricating nanostructured materials, including TiO2-organic/inorganic nanocomposite materials. Technically, TiO2 shows relatively high reactivity under ultraviolet light, the energy of which exceeds the band gap of TiO2. The development of photocatalysts exhibiting high reactivity under visible light allows the main part of the solar spectrum to be used. Visible light-activated TiO2 could be prepared by doping or sensitizing. As far as doping of TiO2 is concerned, in obtaining tailored material with improved properties, metal and nonmetal doping has been performed in the context of improved photoactivity. Nonmetal doping seems to be more promising than metal doping. TiO2 represents an effective photocatalyst for water and air purification and for self-cleaning surfaces. Additionally, it can be used as an antibacterial agent because of its strong oxidation activity and superhydrophilicity. Therefore, applications of TiO2 in terms of photocatalytic activities are discussed here. The basic mechanisms of the photoactivities of TiO2 and nanostructures are considered alongside band structure engineering and surface modification in nanostructured TiO2 in the context of doping. The article reviews the basic structural, optical, and electrical properties of TiO2, followed by detailed fabrication techniques of 0-, 1-, and quasi-2-dimensional TiO2 nanomaterials. Applications and future directions of nanostructured TiO2 are considered in the context of various photoinduced phenomena such as hydrogen production, electricity generation via dye-sensitized solar cells, photokilling and self-cleaning effect, photo-oxidation of organic pollutant, wastewater management, and organic synthesis.
doi:10.2147/NSA.S9040
PMCID: PMC3781710  PMID: 24198485
TiO2 nanostructure; fabrication techniques; doping in TiO2; TiO2-assisted photoactivity; solar hydrogen; TiO2-based dye-sensitized solar cells; TiO2 self-cleaning; organic synthesis
13.  Mechanistic Study on the Solution-Phase n-Doping of 1,3-Dimethyl-2-aryl-2,3-dihydro-1H-benzoimidazole Derivatives 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2013;135(40):15018-15025.
The discovery of air-stable n-dopants for organic semiconductor materials has been hindered by the necessity of high-energy HOMOs and the air sensitivity of compounds that satisfy this requirement. One strategy for circumventing this problem is to utilize stable precursor molecules that form the active doping complex in situ during the doping process or in a postdeposition thermal- or photo-activation step. Some of us have reported on the use of 1H-benzimidazole (DMBI) and benzimidazolium (DMBI-I) salts as solution- and vacuum-processable n-type dopant precursors, respectively. It was initially suggested that DMBI dopants function as single-electron radical donors wherein the active doping species, the imidazoline radical, is generated in a postdeposition thermal annealing step. Herein we report the results of extensive mechanistic studies on DMBI-doped fullerenes, the results of which suggest a more complicated doping mechanism is operative. Specifically, a reaction between the dopant and host that begins with either hydride or hydrogen atom transfer and which ultimately leads to the formation of host radical anions is responsible for the doping effect. The results of this research will be useful for identifying applications of current organic n-doping technology and will drive the design of next-generation n-type dopants that are air stable and capable of doping low-electron-affinity host materials in organic devices.
doi:10.1021/ja403906d
PMCID: PMC3994987  PMID: 24011269
14.  Physical properties of metal-doped zinc oxide films for surface acoustic wave application 
Metal-doped ZnO [MZO] thin films show changes of the following properties by a dopant. First, group III element (Al, In, Ga)-doped ZnO thin films have a high conductivity having an n-type semiconductor characteristic. Second, group I element (Li, Na, K)-doped ZnO thin films have high resistivity due to a dopant that accepts a carrier. The metal-doped ZnO (M = Li, Ag) films were prepared by radio frequency magnetron sputtering on glass substrates with the MZO targets. We investigated on the optical and electrical properties of the as-sputtered MZO films as dependences on the doping contents in the targets. All the MZO films had shown a preferred orientation in the [002] direction. As the quantity and the variety of metal dopants were changed, the crystallinity and the transmittance, as well as optical band gap were changed. The electrical resistivity was also changed with changing metal doping amounts and kinds of dopants. An epitaxial Li-doped ZnO film has a high resistivity and very smooth surface; it will have the most optimum conditions which can be used for the piezoelectric devices.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-25
PMCID: PMC3275533  PMID: 22221881
MZO; surface acoustic waves; RF magnetron sputter; ZnO; piezoelectric devices
15.  Synthesis and Magnetic Properties of Gd Doped EuS Nanocrystals with Enhanced Curie Temperatures 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2010;132(45):15997-16005.
EuS nanocrystals (NCs) were doped with Gd resulting in an enhancement of their magnetic properties. New EuS and GdS single source precursors (SSPs) were synthesized, characterized, and employed to synthesize Eu1-xGdxS NCs by decomposition in oleylamine and trioctylphosphine at 290 °C. The doped NCs were characterized using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron miscroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy, which supports the uniform distribution of Gd dopants through electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) mapping. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) revealed the dopant ions in Eu1-xGdxS NCs to be predominantly Gd3+. NCs with a variety of doping ratios of Gd (0 ≤ x < 1) were systematically studied using vibrating sample magnetometry and the observed magnetic properties were correlated with the Gd doping levels (x) as quantified with ICP-AES. Enhancement of the Curie temperature (TC) was observed for samples with low Gd concentrations (x ≤ 10 %) with a maximum TC of 29.4 K observed for NCs containing 5.3 % Gd. Overall, the observed TC, Weiss temperature (θ), and hysteretic behavior correspond directly to the doping level in Eu1-xGdxS NCs and the trends qualitatively follow those previously reported for bulk and thin film samples.
doi:10.1021/ja104314c
PMCID: PMC2978792  PMID: 20964293
EuS; nanocrystals; magnetism; magnetic semiconductor; spintronics; doping
16.  Selective formation of tungsten nanowires 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):543.
We report on a process for fabricating self-aligned tungsten (W) nanowires with polycrystalline silicon core. Tungsten nanowires as thin as 10 nm were formed by utilizing polysilicon sidewall transfer technology followed by selective deposition of tungsten by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using WF6 as the precursor. With selective CVD, the process is self-limiting whereby the tungsten formation is confined to the polysilicon regions; hence, the nanowires are formed without the need for lithography or for additional processing. The fabricated tungsten nanowires were observed to be perfectly aligned, showing 100% selectivity to polysilicon and can be made to be electrically isolated from one another. The electrical conductivity of the nanowires was characterized to determine the effect of its physical dimensions. The conductivity for the tungsten nanowires were found to be 40% higher when compared to doped polysilicon nanowires of similar dimensions.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-543
PMCID: PMC3212081  PMID: 21970543
tungsten; nanowires; nanostructures; self-aligned; chemical vapor deposition; selective deposition
17.  Single-step processing of copper-doped titania nanomaterials in a flame aerosol reactor 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):441.
Synthesis and characterization of long wavelength visible-light absorption Cu-doped TiO2 nanomaterials with well-controlled properties such as size, composition, morphology, and crystal phase have been demonstrated in a single-step flame aerosol reactor. This has been feasible by a detailed understanding of the formation and growth of nanoparticles in the high-temperature flame region. The important process parameters controlled were: molar feed ratios of precursors, temperature, and residence time in the high-temperature flame region. The ability to vary the crystal phase of the doped nanomaterials while keeping the primary particle size constant has been demonstrated. Results indicate that increasing the copper dopant concentration promotes an anatase to rutile phase transformation, decreased crystalline nature and primary particle size, and better suspension stability. Annealing the Cu-doped TiO2 nanoparticles increased the crystalline nature and changed the morphology from spherical to hexagonal structure. Measurements indicate a band gap narrowing by 0.8 eV (2.51 eV) was achieved at 15-wt.% copper dopant concentration compared to pristine TiO2 (3.31 eV) synthesized under the same flame conditions. The change in the crystal phase, size, and band gap is attributed to replacement of titanium atoms by copper atoms in the TiO2 crystal.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-441
PMCID: PMC3211860  PMID: 21733174
18.  Synergistic effect on the visible light activity of Ti3+ doped TiO2 nanorods/boron doped graphene composite 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5493.
TiO2/graphene (TiO2-x/GR) composites, which are Ti3+ self-doped TiO2 nanorods decorated on boron doped graphene sheets, were synthesized via a simple one-step hydrothermal method using low-cost NaBH4 as both a reducing agent and a boron dopant on graphene. The resulting TiO2 nanorods were about 200 nm in length with exposed (100) and (010) facets. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, X-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS), transmission electron microscope (TEM), Raman, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The XRD results suggest that the prepared samples have an anatase crystalline structure. All of the composites tested exhibited improved photocatalytic activities as measured by the degradation of methylene blue and phenol under visible light irradiation. This improvement was attributed to the synergistic effect of Ti3+ self-doping on TiO2 nanorods and boron doping on graphene.
doi:10.1038/srep05493
PMCID: PMC4074785  PMID: 24974890
19.  Synthesis and characterization of single-crystalline zinc tin oxide nanowires 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):210.
Crystalline zinc tin oxide (ZTO; zinc oxide with heavy tin doping of 33 at.%) nanowires were first synthesized using the electrodeposition and heat treatment method based on an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane, which has an average diameter of about 60 nm. According to the field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) results, the synthesized ZTO nanowires are highly ordered and have high wire packing densities. The length of ZTO nanowires is about 4 μm, and the aspect ratio is around 67. ZTO nanowires with a Zn/(Zn + Sn) atomic ratio of 0.67 (approximately 2/3) were observed from an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). X-ray diffraction (XRD) and corresponding selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns demonstrated that the ZTO nanowire is hexagonal single-crystalline. The study of ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared (UV/Vis/NIR) absorption showed that the ZTO nanowire is a wide-band semiconductor with a band gap energy of 3.7 eV.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-210
PMCID: PMC4019900  PMID: 24872800
Zinc tin oxide; Nanowires; AAO membrane
20.  Nitrogen-doped graphene: beyond single substitution and enhanced molecular sensing 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:586.
Graphene is a two-dimensional network in which sp2-hybridized carbon atoms are arranged in two different triangular sub-lattices (A and B). By incorporating nitrogen atoms into graphene, its physico-chemical properties could be significantly altered depending on the doping configuration within the sub-lattices. Here, we describe the synthesis of large-area, highly-crystalline monolayer N-doped graphene (NG) sheets via atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition, yielding a unique N-doping site composed of two quasi-adjacent substitutional nitrogen atoms within the same graphene sub-lattice (N2AA). Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM and STS) of NG revealed the presence of localized states in the conduction band induced by N2AA-doping, which was confirmed by ab initio calculations. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time that NG could be used to efficiently probe organic molecules via a highly improved graphene enhanced Raman scattering.
doi:10.1038/srep00586
PMCID: PMC3421434  PMID: 22905317
21.  Lu3+/Yb3+ and Lu3+/Er3+ co-doped antimony selenide nanomaterials: synthesis, characterization, and electrical, thermoelectrical, and optical properties 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2013;8(1):141.
Lu3+/Yb3+ and Lu3+/Er3+ co-doped Sb2Se3 nanomaterials were synthesized by co-reduction method in hydrothermal condition. Powder X-ray diffraction patterns indicate that the LnxLn′xSb2−2xSe3 Ln: Lu3+/Yb3+ and Lu3+/Er3+ crystals (x = 0.00 − 0.04) are isostructural with Sb2Se3. The cell parameters were increased for compounds upon increasing the dopant content (x). Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy images show that co-doping of Lu3+/Yb3+ ions in the lattice of Sb2Se3 produces nanorods, while that in Lu3+/Er3+ produces nanoparticles, respectively. The electrical conductivity of co-doped Sb2Se3 is higher than that of the pure Sb2Se3 and increases with temperature. By increasing the concentration of Ln3+ions, the absorption spectrum of Sb2Se3 shows red shifts and some intensity changes. In addition to the characteristic red emission peaks of Sb2Se3, emission spectra of co-doped materials show other emission bands originating from f-f transitions of the Yb3+ ions.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-141
PMCID: PMC3618067  PMID: 23537193
Co-doped; Nanomaterial; Luminescent; Electrical conductivity; Hydrothermal
22.  Doping graphene films via chemically mediated charge transfer 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):111.
Transparent conductive films (TCFs) are critical components of a myriad of technologies including flat panel displays, light-emitting diodes, and solar cells. Graphene-based TCFs have attracted a lot of attention because of their high electrical conductivity, transparency, and low cost. Carrier doping of graphene would potentially improve the properties of graphene-based TCFs for practical industrial applications. However, controlling the carrier type and concentration of dopants in graphene films is challenging, especially for the synthesis of p-type films. In this article, a new method for doping graphene using the conjugated organic molecule, tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ), is described. Notably, TCNQ is well known as a powerful electron accepter and is expected to favor electron transfer from graphene into TCNQ molecules, thereby leading to p-type doping of graphene films. Small amounts of TCNQ drastically improved the resistivity without degradation of optical transparency. Our carrier doping method based on charge transfer has a huge potential for graphene-based TCFs.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-111
PMCID: PMC3211156  PMID: 21711624
23.  Doping of vanadium to nanocrystalline diamond films by hot filament chemical vapor deposition 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):441.
Doping an impure element with a larger atomic volume into crystalline structure of buck crystals is normally blocked because the rigid crystalline structure could not tolerate a larger distortion. However, this difficulty may be weakened for nanocrystalline structures. Diamonds, as well as many semiconductors, have a difficulty in effective doping. Theoretical calculations carried out by DFT indicate that vanadium (V) is a dopant element for the n-type diamond semiconductor, and their several donor state levels are distributed between the conduction band and middle bandgap position in the V-doped band structure of diamond. Experimental investigation of doping vanadium into nanocrystalline diamond films (NDFs) was first attempted by hot filament chemical vapor deposition technique. Acetone/H2 gas mixtures and vanadium oxytripropoxide (VO(OCH2CH2CH3)3) solutions of acetone with V and C elemental ratios of 1:5,000, 1:2,000, and 1:1,000 were used as carbon and vanadium sources, respectively. The resistivity of the V-doped NDFs decreased two orders with the increasing V/C ratios.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-441
PMCID: PMC3434085  PMID: 22873631
Nanocrystalline diamond; Vanadium dopant; Donor state levels; Structural distortion toleration
24.  Resonance of graphene nanoribbons doped with nitrogen and boron: a molecular dynamics study 
Summary
Based on its enticing properties, graphene has been envisioned with applications in the area of electronics, photonics, sensors, bio-applications and others. To facilitate various applications, doping has been frequently used to manipulate the properties of graphene. Despite a number of studies conducted on doped graphene regarding its electrical and chemical properties, the impact of doping on the mechanical properties of graphene has been rarely discussed. A systematic study of the vibrational properties of graphene doped with nitrogen and boron is performed by means of a molecular dynamics simulation. The influence from different density or species of dopants has been assessed. It is found that the impacts on the quality factor, Q, resulting from different densities of dopants vary greatly, while the influence on the resonance frequency is insignificant. The reduction of the resonance frequency caused by doping with boron only is larger than the reduction caused by doping with both boron and nitrogen. This study gives a fundamental understanding of the resonance of graphene with different dopants, which may benefit their application as resonators.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.5.84
PMCID: PMC4077460  PMID: 24991509
dopant; graphene; molecular dynamics simulation; natural frequency; quality factor; resonance
25.  Conductive-probe atomic force microscopy characterization of silicon nanowire 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):110.
The electrical conduction properties of lateral and vertical silicon nanowires (SiNWs) were investigated using a conductive-probe atomic force microscopy (AFM). Horizontal SiNWs, which were synthesized by the in-plane solid-liquid-solid technique, are randomly deployed into an undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer. Local current mapping shows that the wires have internal microstructures. The local current-voltage measurements on these horizontal wires reveal a power law behavior indicating several transport regimes based on space-charge limited conduction which can be assisted by traps in the high-bias regime (> 1 V). Vertical phosphorus-doped SiNWs were grown by chemical vapor deposition using a gold catalyst-driving vapor-liquid-solid process on higly n-type silicon substrates. The effect of phosphorus doping on the local contact resistance between the AFM tip and the SiNW was put in evidence, and the SiNWs resistivity was estimated.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-110
PMCID: PMC3211155  PMID: 21711623

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