Electron beam fracturing of ZNO nanostructures and modification in optical band gap
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In our previous work Siraj et al (J Alloys Comp 563:280, 2013), the electron beam irradiation at high energies (6?15 MeV) at constant dose of 30 Gy produced Zinc oxide elongated nanostructures and modified the optical band gap energies accordingly. In present work, those nanostructures are fractured to smaller sizes by increasing the electron doses to 100 and 200 Gy. The very high temperature gradient induced stresses are responsible for further fracturing of ZnO nanostructures. The optical properties such as refractive index, extinction coefficient and optical band gap energy have also modified when higher cumulative electron doses are used. The optical band gap energies are found to decrease by increasing electron doses at all used electron energies, which is attributed to the production of different defects like vacancies, unpaired bonds, nanovoids, nanocavities, nanocracks and high strains. The electron beam irradiation of ZnO thin films at used parameters (doses and energies) is found to be plausible technique to produce nanostructures of different sizes and accordingly modify the optical band gap energies. The results can be beneficial for optical and optoelectronic industries.