Mechanisms of self-assembly in solution grown ZnO nanorods

Z. N. Urgessa, K. Talla, S. R. Dobson, O. S. Oluwafemi, E. J. Olivier, J. H. Neethling, J. R. Botha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanisms for self-assembly of ZnO nanorods grown by chemical bath deposition are investigated in detail. Using a combination of scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, the growth mechanism of ZnO nanostructures from a solution was studied. The study revealed that the mechanism of nucleation is the crucial step in controlling the morphology, orientation and distribution of the nanostructures on a silicon substrate. In the absence of a seed layer, rods initially nucleated from eroded regions in precipitated Zn(OH)2 lead to the formation of flower-like, hemi-spherically arranged nanorods. In the presence of a higher density seed layer, well-aligned nanorods form on the seed layer coated substrate as a result of competition between homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation. In general, the initial precipitation of Zn(OH)2 in a basic solution followed by its dissolution is suggested as the formation mechanism of ZnO. These findings may contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of self-assembly of ZnO nanorods and help to control and manipulate the ZnO architecture during solution growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-284
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical synthesis
  • Nanostructures
  • Semiconductors
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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