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Effects of Hydroxylation and Silanization on the Surface Properties of ZnO Nanowires

García Núñez, C., Sachsenhauser, M., Blashcke, B., García Marín, A., Garrido, Jose A., Pau, Jose L.
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.9 pp. 5331-5337
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, biochemical compounds, biosensors, contact angle, electrical properties, energy, hydrophobicity, hydroxylation, irradiation, nanowires, ultraviolet radiation, zinc oxide
Silanization is commonly used to form bonds between inorganic materials and biomolecules as a step in the surface preparation of solid-state biosensors. This work investigates the effects of silanization with amino-propyldiethoxymethylsilane on hydroxylated sidewalls of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires (NWs). The surface properties and electrical characteristics of NWs are analyzed by different techniques after their hydroxylation and later silanization. Contact angle measurements reveal a stronger hydrophobic behavior after silanization, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results show a reduction of the surface dipole induced by the replacement of the hydroxyl group with the amine terminal group. The lower work function obtained after silanization in contact potential measurements corroborates the attenuation of the surface dipole observed in XPS. Furthermore, the surface band bending of NWs is determined from surface photovoltage measurements upon irradiation with UV light, yielding a 0.5 eV energy in hydroxylated NWs, and 0.18 eV, after silanization. From those results, a reduction in the surface state density of 3.1 × 10¹¹ cm–² is estimated after silanization. The current–voltage (I–V) characteristics measured in a silanized single NW device show a reduction of the resistance, due to the enhancement of the conductive volume inside the NW, which also improves the linearity of the I–V characteristic.