Evaluating the response of nitrogen implantation in ZnO ALD thin films and their photocatalytic assessment

J. Rodríguez-López, R. Rangel*, D. Berman-Mendoza, A. Ramos-Carrazco, J. J. Alvarado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The present work aims to contribute to giving light to the photocatalytic process, where compounds that have been anionically doped, are discussed. The columnar growth of ZnO films produced through the atomic layer deposition technique and their further nitrogen doping using a nitrogen plasma source are discussed. Those films were tested as photocatalysts to degrade the complex lignin molecule. The procedure started manufacturing ZnO thin films through self-limited reactions of diethylzinc and H2O on either glass, or Si (100) substrates using an atomic layer deposition facility. In a further stage, using a hydrothermal process, highly oriented columnar nanostructures, were grown. Those structures were nitrogen-doped through a nitrogen plasma discharge in homemade glass reactor. The films were characterized by XRD, XPS, SEM, Raman, photoluminescence, and UV-Vis spectroscopies. The results suggest that the silicon substrate and the zinc acetate precursor provide samples with the best photocatalytic performance. Besides, nitrogen doping increases the percentage of lignin degradation compared to undoped films. The methodology here presented provides a viable way to produce high-quality N-ZnO thin films with potential application in the field of photocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114211
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Nitrogen plasma doping
  • Semiconductor
  • Substrates
  • Thin films


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