The aluminum-doped ZnO (AZO) nanostructures with different Al concentrations were synthesized on AZO/glass substrate via a simple hydrothermal growth method at a temperature as low as 85 °C. The morphologies, crystallinity, optical emission properties, and chemical bonding states of AZO nanostructures show evident dependence on the aluminum dosage. The morphologies of AZO nanostructures were changed from vertically aligned nanowires (NWs), and NWs coexisted with nanosheets (NSs), to complete NSs in respect of the Al-dosages of 0∼3 at.%, 5 at.%, and 7 at.%, correspondingly. The undoped ZnO and lightly Al-doped AZO (≦3 at.%) NWs are single-crystalline wurtzite structure. In contrast, heavily Al-doped AZO sample is polycrystalline. The AZO nanostructure with 3 at.% Al-dosages reveals the optimal crystallinity and less structural defects, reflecting the longest carrier lifetime and highest conductivity. Consequently, the field-emission characteristics of such an AZO emitter can exhibit the higher current density, larger field-enhancement factor (β) of 3131, lower turn-on field of 2.17 V/μm, and lower threshold field of 3.43 V/μm.
- Aluminum-Doped Zinc Oxide (AZO)
- Hydrothermal Method
- Low Temperature