Nitrogen-Doping in ZnO via Combustion Synthesis?

Söllradl, Stefan; Greiwe, Magnus; Bukas, Vanessa J.; Buchner, Magnus R.; Widenmeyer, Marc; Kandemir, Timur; Zweifel, Tobias; Senyshyn, Anatoliy; Günther, Sebastian; Nilges, Tom; Türler, Andreas; Niewa, Rainer (2015). Nitrogen-Doping in ZnO via Combustion Synthesis? Chemistry of materials, 27(12), pp. 4188-4195. American Chemical Society 10.1021/cm504200q

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We report the synthesis and characterization of colored ZnO-based powders via solution combustion reaction of urea and zinc nitrate hexahydrate in varying molar ratios between 1:1 and 10:1. Among other techniques, we employ X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, and Raman spectroscopy to characterize the products. Within a narrow range of reactant ratios, we reproducibly find an unidentified, crystalline precursor phase related to isocyanuric acid next to ZnO. Finally, we complement our investigations by performing Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA) on selected products in order to directly determine elemental bulk compositions and compare these with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements. Our data show traces of nitrogen mainly on the surface of the particles, and thus we question the solution combustion method as a reliable synthesis toward N-doped ZnO. Furthermore, we exclude nitrogen as being responsible for the appearance of the four controversially discussed Raman bands superimposed onto the spectrum of pure ZnO (at 275, 510, 582, and 643 cm–1) and show that the combination of PGAA and XPS is an excellent and complementary method to obtain information about the distribution of the elements in question.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Türler, Andreas


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Chemical Society




Franziska Bornhauser-Rufer

Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2016 14:31

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:51

Publisher DOI:





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