Origin of luminescence from ZnO/CdS core/shell nanowire arrays†
Chemical imaging, electronic structure and optical properties of ZnO/CdS nano-composites have been investigated using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM), X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) and X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) spectroscopy. STXM and XANES results confirm that the as-prepared product is ZnO/CdS core/shell nanowires (NWs), and further indicate that ZnS was formed on the surface of ZnO NWs as the interface between ZnO and CdS. The XEOL from ZnO/CdS NW arrays exhibits one weak ultraviolet (UV) emission at 375 nm, one strong green emission at 512 nm, and two broad infrared (IR) emissions at 750 and 900 nm. Combining XANES and XEOL, it is concluded that the UV luminescence is the near band gap emission (BGE) of ZnO; the green luminescence comes from both the BGE of CdS and defect emission (DE, zinc vacancies) of ZnO; the IR luminescence is attributed to the DE (bulk defect related to the S site) of CdS; ZnS contributes little to the luminescence of the ZnO/CdS NW arrays. Interestingly, the BGE and DE from oxygen vacancies of ZnO in the ZnO/CdS nano-composites are almost entirely quenched, while DE from zinc vacancies changes little.