Zinc Oxide - Production - Laboratory Synthesis

Laboratory Synthesis

A large number of specialised methods exist for producing ZnO for scientific studies and niche applications. These methods can be classified by the resulting ZnO form (bulk, thin film, nanowire), temperature ("low", that is close to room temperature or "high", that is T ~ 1000 °C), process type (vapor deposition or growth from solution) and other parameters.

Large single crystals (many cubic centimeters) are usually grown by the gas transport (vapor-phase deposition), hydrothermal synthesis, or melt growth. However, because of high vapor pressure of ZnO, growth from the melt is problematic. Growth by gas transport is difficult to control, leaving the hydrothermal method as a preference. Thin films can be produced by chemical vapor deposition, metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy, electrodeposition, pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, sol-gel synthesis, atomic layer deposition, spray pyrolysis, etc.

Ordinary white powdered zinc oxide can be produced in the laboratory by electrolyzing a solution of sodium bicarbonate with a zinc anode. Zinc hydroxide and hydrogen gas are produced. The zinc hydroxide upon heating decomposes to zinc oxide.

Zn + 2 H2O → Zn(OH)2 + H2
Zn(OH)2 → ZnO + H2O

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