• Vol 9, No 6 (2018)
  • Metalurgy and Material Engineering

Nanostructural Growth Investigation of ZnO Nanorods Derived from Chemical Bath Deposition for Transparent Heater Application

Akhmad Herman Yuwono, Lalu Suhaimi, Nofrijon Sofyan, Donanta Dhaneswara, Ghiska Ramahdita, Amalia Sholehah, Chairul Hudaya

Cite this article as:
Yuwono, A.H., Suhaimi, L., Sofyan, N., Dhaneswara, D., Ramahdita, G., Sholehah, A., Hudaya, C., 2018. Nanostructural Growth Investigation of ZnO Nanorods Derived from Chemical Bath Deposition for Transparent Heater Application. International Journal of Technology. Volume 9(6), pp. 1216-1224
Akhmad Herman Yuwono Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Lalu Suhaimi Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Nofrijon Sofyan Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Donanta Dhaneswara Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Ghiska Ramahdita Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Amalia Sholehah Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Km 3 Cilegon, Banten 42435, Indonesia
Chairul Hudaya Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author


One dimensional Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanostructures in the forms of nanowire, nanorod, nanotube have been attracting scientific and technology interests in the last few years. This current study investigated the effects of chemical bath deposition (CBD) synthesis parameters i.e. seeding solution concentration and growing time on the nanostructural characteristics of ZnO nanorods and considering their potential application for transparent heater. Seed solutions were prepared by dissolving 1:1 equimolar zinc nitrate tetrahydrate and hexamethylenetetraamine in water at 0°C for 1 hour. Upon the synthesis, the seeding solution concentration was varied from 0.005, 0.025, 0.05 M. The formation of thin films containing ZnO nanoseeds was carried out by spin coating the precursors on the conducting indium tin oxide (ITO) glass substrates, followed with annealing at 200oC for 5 minutes then further growing the ZnO nanorods at 90oC for 3 hours. Another variation in this work was also carried out by selecting a different route upon CBD process, i.e. with a fixed 0.05 M seeding solution prepared from the same equimolar zinc nitrate tetrahydrate and hexamethylenetetraamine in water at 25oC for 1 hour, followed with the same annealing stage but continued by variation in the growing stage at 90oC for different times (3, 4 and 5 hours). ZnO nanorods were characterized using x-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy and ultraviolet-visual spectroscopy. The results of these investigations demonstrated that with the increase in reaction time from 3 to 5 hours, the band gap energy, Eg of the nanorods decreased from 3.63 to 3.13 eV, a consequence of the increase in their diameter and crystallite size from 325 to 583 nm and 22.68 to 34.28 nm, respectively. The desired coverage of ZnO nanorods for transparent heater applications was obtained with a 0.05 M seeding solution and 5-hour reaction time.

Chemical bath deposition; Nanorods; Reaction time; Seeding concentration; Zinc oxide


The development of nanostructure materials has attracted scientific and technological interests in the last few decades. This is due to the high demand for these materials in various strategic applications owing to their unique properties at nanometer scale which are different to those of their bulk forms at the macro-and micro-scales. Therefore, one dimensional nanostructures such as nanowires, nanorods, or nanotubes have been seen as a breakthrough in the materials world. In this context, they can be expected to provide a much faster electron transfer via ballistic effect owing to their pipe-like structure.

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of inorganic semiconductor oxide materials which play important role in various strategic applications including sensors (Wan et al., 2004), optoelectronic (Law et al., 2005) and piezoelectric devices (Kadota & Miura, 2002). This can be attributed to its wide band gap energy, Eg of 3.07 eV and large exciton binding energy of 60 meV at room temperature (Jin et al., 2005). ZnO is also well-known as one of strategic materials for piezoelectric devices due to the asymmetry in its wurtzite structure. In addition, currently ZnO nanostructures are being considered as potential candidate to substitute for TiO2 (titanium dioxide) in the dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) application (Hamann et al., 2008). This is due to its electronic characteristic as direct band gap semiconductor that can be expected to be more responsive in the photon absorption process than TiO2, which is an indirect band gap semiconductor. Moreover, reducing the size of ZnO structures down to the nanometer scale has been hailed as a breakthrough in enhancing the performance of DSSC devices. This is based on the fact that ZnO nanostructures have a much higher surface-to-volume ratio compared to its bulk form, resulting in a more pronounced interaction with the dye molecules.

Vertically aligned ZnO nanorods have been synthesized via several established procedures including chemical vapour deposition (CVD) (Zhong et al., 2012), radio frequency sputtering (Chung et al., 2010; Shabannia & Abu-Hassan, 2013), chemical bath deposition (CBD) (Lang et al., 2008; Gurav et al., 2011), and hydrothermal process (Pei et al., 2009). CBD is well-known as a simple and cheap soft chemical route that runs at low temperature and provides several benefits over other methods e.g., easy control of the process condition, lower energy consumption, and higher yields (Wu et al., 2011). In our previous works we have utilized the CBD process to grow ZnO nanorods on conducting glass substrates and dedicated them for DSSC application (Sholehah et al., 2012; Yuwono et al., 2013;  Sholehah et al., 2017). In the current study, we are exploring the potential of ZnO nanorods in a new and important usage, i.e. transparent heater for applications in anti-fog, anti-icing, and de-icing functions for optics and optical displays. In this context, the combination of the ZnO nanorods’ high electrical conductivity and the optical transparency of the glass substrate on which the ZnO nanorods are grown is essential. To realize this, we have varied the CBD synthesis parameters—seed solution concentration and growing time—to find the most suitable precursor composition and determine the optimum conditions for the basic nanostructural characteristics and optical properties for transparent heater application.


In this study ZnO nanorods grown on glass substrates were successfully synthesized via CBD technique involving seeding and growing stages. It has been found that a seeding solution (0.05 M) prepared at 25oC can provide more homogeneous coverage of ZnO nanorods on the substrate surface with a larger average nanorod diameter, in comparison to previous reactions at 0oC. This resulted from the ripening mechanism in the seeding stage, which allowed the nuclei to grow more in the subsequent CBD process. Varying CBD growing time from 3 to 5 hours produced nanorods with average crystallite sizes and Egs of 22.85 to 32.48 nm and 3.63 to 3.13 eV. Considering their nanostructural charateristics and optical properties, the resulting ZnO nanorod samples are promising for transparent heater applications. However, further optimization is still necessary to achieve the desired combination of high transparency and electrical conductivity.


This project was financially supported by the Directorate of Research and Community Services of Universitas Indonesia through the PITTA Research Grant of Universitas Indonesia, Year 2018, contract number 2370/UN2.R3.1/HKP.05.00/2018. 


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