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Nanostructured films formed on Zn during anodic oxidation in different carbonate-based electrolytes

Publication at Faculty of Science |


Electrochemical generation of nanowire arrays by one-step anodic oxidation of Zn in carbonate-based electro-lytes of different pH values is described. Zn foil was anodized in a mixture containing 5 mM Na2CO3 and 5 mM NaHCO3, as well as in pure Na2CO3 and NaHCO3 (both 10 mM).

The morphology of anodic films was verified by FE-SEM. A special emphasis was put on the analysis of the composition of as-received nanomaterials by various techniques including XRD, XPS, UV-Vis, and Raman spectroscopy.

Contrary to previous reports, we confirmed that the unknown phase of zinc carbonate with a formula of ZnCO3.H2O or Zn(HCO3)(OH) is formed at the Zn surface during anodization. The formation of ZnO resulting in more evident electrode passivation was also observed in the electrolytes containing sodium carbonates.

The changes occurring during the thermal treatment of as-received materials were described based on TG, XPS, XRD, Raman, and nitrogen adsorption-desorption measurements. It was verified that, except for a several-fold increase in the active surface area, no significant changes in the wire-like morphology of the anodically generated product occur during its thermal conversion to ZnO.

Finally, no noticeable differences in the photoelectrochemical performance of ZnO nanostructures formed in different electrolytes were observed.