Date of Graduation

Fall 2012


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Adam Wanekaya


Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a chemically and thermally stable n-type semiconducting material with many applications including solar cells, piezoelectrics, and fuel cell devices due to their flexible use in chemical sensing. ZnO has a wide band gap and fast electron transfer that makes it a promising candidate for a supporting matrix in the fabrication of biosensors. ZnO's high isoelectric point facilitates its binding with many enzymes proteins, DNA, and RNA providing potential use in biomedical applications. Here, we hydrothermally synthesized ZnO nanoparticles at low temperature conditions. Solvent, precursor, and reaction temperatures as well as reaction times were varied resulting in controlling the size, morphology and properties of the particles. These ZnO nanoparticles were characterized extensively by employing the use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy (IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) among other techniques. These nanoparticles were coupled with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) to fabricate hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and glucose sensors. ZnO is also demonstrated to potentially increase enzyme activity using luciferase as a model system.


zinc oxide, nanoparticles, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, hydrothermal synthesis, morphology, biosensors, biocompatibility

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