ZnO Nanoparticles from Avantama
The ability to formulate raw materials and products with sub-microscale (μm) geometries is a powerful prospect, which is why nanotechnology has ignited interest in a limitless range of markets – from agriculture to electronics. Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles are a class of inorganic nanomaterials that has garnered significant interest across this broad cross-section of end-users. They are already implemented in biosensors, cosmetics, drug-delivery systems, electronic displays, gas sensors, photovoltaics, and more, combatting unique industry challenges at a scale that was previously impossible.
In this blog post, we will explore the applications of ZnO nanoparticles in brief, before outlining the ZnO nanoparticle formulations available from Avantama in more detail.
Applications of ZnO Nanoparticles
Much of the literature thus far has focussed on the outstanding antimicrobial properties of ZnO nanoparticles, citing the metal oxide’s successful inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in vitro as a key indicator of its potential to combat foodborne pathogens and contaminants. Nano-sized structural units based on metal oxides, like ZnO nanoparticles, are subsequently central to research and development of anti-microbial surfaces and solutions intended to combat the antibiotics inefficiency crisis.
The exceptional bioactivity of ZnO nanoparticles is largely attributed to the greater surface area to volume ratio; a function dictated by the nanoscale (nm) geometries of ZnO nanoparticles. To qualify as a nanomaterial, metal oxide powders must comprise particles centred around a size distribution (PSD) of <100 nanometres (nm). There are myriad benefits associated with tight control of the particle size uniformity and morphology too. Many other beneficial properties of ZnO nanoparticles are similarly dictated by size. These include high transparency, strong luminescence at room temperatures, good electron mobility, and a wide bandgap.
The photoelectronic properties of ZnO nanoparticles are indeed dictated by the size and uniformity of particles in the formulation – but not exclusively. In photoelectronic contexts, ZnO is described as a II-VI semiconductor comprised of either an alkaline or post-transition metal (i.e. zinc) with an element from the chalcogen group (i.e. oxygen). This novel group of semiconductors exhibit wide bandgaps which enable optoelectronic devices to operate at elevated temperatures, and to generate luminescence at a fraction of the energy cost of incandescent light sources. The nominal bandgap of ZnO nanoparticles at room temperatures is 3.3 electronvolts (eV) – significantly larger than alternative semiconductors based on the likes of silicon (1 – 1.5 eV).
Avantama’s ZnO Nanoparticles
Avantama is one of the leading manufacturers of nanomaterials for optoelectronic applications worldwide, providing high-purity ZnO nanoparticles for cutting-edge electronics markets. Our off-the-shelf products based on highly tailored ZnO nanoparticles include:
We also provide a suite of aluminium doped ZnO, or Al:ZnO, nanoparticles for custom applications. If you would like more information about our available formulations, simply contact a member of the Avantama team today.