Bio-inspired engineering of a zinc oxide/amino acid composite: synchrotron microstructure study†
The presence of intracrystalline molecules has been shown to strongly influence crystallite size while at the same time producing strains in both synthetic and biogenic crystals. These molecules, when introduced into the ZnO lattice, alter the band-gap energy of the semiconductor. We carried out a high-resolution X-ray microstructure study utilizing synchrotron radiation of bio-inspired ZnO/amino acid composites. Analysis of the adherence profile of the amino acids to the ZnO host is important for achieving better control of the band-gap value of ZnO as a semiconductor.