Surface effects on optical and electrical properties of ZnO nanostructures

Cheng Ying Chen, Ming Wei Chen, Jr Jian Ke, Chin An Lin, José R.D. Retamal, Jr Hau He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


This article presents a comprehensive review of the current research addressing the surface effects on physical properties and potential applications of nanostructured ZnO. Studies illustrating the transport, photoluminescence (PL), and photoconductivity properties of ZnO with ultrahigh surface-to-volume (S/V) ratio are reviewed first. Secondly, we examine recent studies of the applications of nanostructured ZnO employing the surface effect on gas/chemical sensing, relying on a change of conductivity via electron trapping and detrapping process at the surfaces of nanostructures. Finally, we comprehensively review the photo voltaic (PV) application of ZnO nanostructures. The ultrahigh S/V ratios of nanostructured devices suggest that studies on the synthesis and PV properties of various nanostructured ZnO for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) offer great potential for high efficiency and lowcost solar cell solutions. After surveying the current literature on the surface effects on nano structured ZnO, we conclude this review with personal perspectives on a few surface-related issues that remain to be addressed before nanostructured ZnO devices can reach their ultimate potential as a new class of industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2055-2073
Number of pages19
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by the National Science Council Grant No. NSC 96-2112-M-002-038-MY3, NSC 96-2622-M-002-002-CC3, and Aim for Top University Project from the Ministry of Education.


  • Electrical properties
  • Nanostructures
  • Nanowires
  • Optical properties
  • Surface effects
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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