Innovative surfactant-free synthesis of core-shell SiO2/ZnO particles: rapid ultrasonication and photocatalytic inhibition

Lailatul Qomariyah*, Tomoyuki Hirano, Nicky Rahmana Putra, Suprapto Suprapto, Hendrix Abdul Ajiz, Mar'atul Fauziyah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study demonstrates the preparation of SiO2/ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with controllable shell size and their optical properties. A facile ultrasonication method was utilized to prepare the core-shell particles in the absence of surfactant materials. The synthesis duration was 75% shorter than that required for the common sol-gel method, which favours its potential applicability in the future for mass production. Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) was used as the silica source, while the core material was prepared using zinc acetate dihydrate. The outer shell size could easily be controlled by changing the molar ratio of silica from 0.25 to 1.00. The experimental results show that increasing the silica ratio was effective in suppressing the self-agglomeration of ZnO and, further, in obtaining agglomeration-free particles. The investigation of the photoluminescence (PL) properties of nanometre-sized ZnO revealed several emission peaks in the ultraviolet (UV) wavelength range, indicating variations in bandgap energy. This did not appear in the spectrum of micrometre-sized ZnO particles. The core-shell particles produced with higher amounts of silica showed higher UV-A and UV-B absorption. In addition, the presence of silica reduced the photocatalytic activity of ZnO by 65% and reduced the PL intensity. The obtained emission peaks, intensity changes, and spectral characteristics open new avenues for further research on tailoring the properties of SiO2/ZnO core-shell structures for specific technological advancements. These advancements hold promising applications in UV attenuation materials, LED technologies, lenses, and solar cells within the realm of optical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12665-12675
Number of pages11
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2024


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