Sodium chloride (NaCl) was found to be very helpful in producing single crystal zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires in gram quantities. The growth involves heating the mixture of zinc powder and NaCl to 600–700 °C in flowing gases of oxygen and argon. A conversion efficiency of 70–80% (Zn to ZnO) was achieved when NaCl was used, and 5–10% without NaCl. The NaCl was completely removed by soaking and rinsing the mixture in water a few times. Photoluminescence spectra using excitation of 325 nm showed a very strong emission only in the visible frequency range, indicating that the surface states dominate the emission.
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