Synthesis of manganese doped zinc sulfide nanoparticles using spray pyrolysis
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Nanoparticles are discrete quasi-spherical objects with diameters in the range of 1 to 100 nm. Compared to the corresponding bulk materials, nanoparticles can have significantly different and size dependent, mechanical, electronic, optical and magnetic properties, which endow them with great potential as building blocks for future technologies. These differences can result from high surface to volume ratio, confinement of charge carriers, size-related resonances, and sub-wavelength interactions with light. In this thesis, we investigated the synthesis of Mn-doped ZnS nanoparticles using different manganese and zinc precursors. We studied the effect of experimental parameters including temperature, residence time and composition of the precursors on the doping of ZnS nanocrystals. The particles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), powder x-ray diffraction (XRD), photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analysis methods. The nanoparticles were approximately 5 nm in diameter and were crystalline as indicated by the lattice fringes in TEM results. Although crystalline nanoparticles with some manganese content were prepared, we did not achieve incorporation of Mn within the ZnS crystal lattice, as is indicated by the absence of the 590 nm peak for the Mn 2+ ion in the photoluminescence spectra. In addition to describing attempts to synthesize the doped particles and analysis of them, this thesis presents discussion of possible reasons for lack of success in Mn incorporation within the ZnS nanoparticles.