Enhanced Physical Absorption Properties of ZnO Nanorods by Electrostatic Self-Assembly with Reduced Graphene Oxide and Decorated with Silver and Copper Nanoparticles

Abstract

The preparation and characterization of innovative nanocomposites based on zinc oxide nanorods (ZNR) encapsulated by graphene (Gr) nanosheets and decorated with silver (Ag), and copper (Cu) nanoparticles (NP) were studied. The prepared nanocomposites (ZNR@Gr/Cu Ag) were examined by different techniques including Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), UV-Vis spectrophotometry and fluorescence spectroscopy. The results showed that the ZNR had a good cover of five layers of graphene and decorated with Ag and Cu NPs with particles size of about (10-15) nm. In comparison with ZNR, the ZNR@Gr/Cu Ag nanocomposites revealed superior absorption in the entire region of 300–1000 nm. Moreover, the band gap decreased from 3.2 eV of ZNR to 1.2 eV for ZNR@Gr/Cu Ag nanocomposites. Taking into account the superiority of ZNR@Gr/Cu Ag nanocomposites in terms of easy fabrication, low-cost method, and environmental friendliness, which made it favorable for huge-scale preparation in many applications such as water splitting, sensor, solar cell, antibacterial and optoelectronic devices.