Optical properties of 2D micro-and nanostructures of ZnO:K

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ZnO nano- and microstructures doped with K were grown by the Vapor-Solid method. Wires and needles are the main morphology observed, although some structures in the form of ribbons and triangular plates were also obtained. Besides these, ball-shaped structures which grow around a central wire were also detected. Raman and cathodoluminescence investigations suggest that variations in morphology, crystalline quality and luminescence emissions are related to the different lattice positions that K occupies depending on its concentration in the structures. When the amount is low, K ions mainly incorporate as interstitials (K_(i)), whereas K occupies substitutional positions of Zn (K_(Zn)) when the amount of K is increased. Electron Backscattered Diffraction shows that ribbons and triangular plates are oriented in the (0001) direction, which indicates that the growth of this type of morphologies is related to distortions introduced by the K-i since this position favors the growth in the (0001) plane. In the case of the ball-shaped structures, the compositional analysis and Raman spectra show that they consist of K_(2)SO_(4). Finally, the capability of the elongated structures to act as waveguides and optical resonators was investigated. Due to the size of the K ion, practically double that of the Zn, and the different positions it can adopt within the ZnO lattice (K_(i)or K_(Zn)), high distortions are introduced that compromise the resonators performance. Despite this, quality factor (Q) and fineness (F) show acceptable values (80 and 10 at 544 nm, respectively), although smaller than those reported for doping with smaller size alkali, such as Li.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI This work was funded by the Spanish Research Agency (MCIU/AEI/Spain) via Project PID2020-112770RB-C21, the Complutense University of Madrid Banco Santander via project UCMSantander 2019 (PR87/19-22613) and Complutense University—Comunidad de Madrid via Project PR65/19-22464