Controlling the growth of particle size and size distribution of silica nanoparticles by the thin film structure
Nanostructured silicondioxide thin films were prepared by sol-gel spin coating technique. The SiO2 films were made using a conventional mixture of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) deionized water and ethanol with various NH3/TEOS ratios. The nanostructured silica films were made using a mixture of the SiO2 sol and regular SiO2 sol to control the enlargement of the particles inside the films. The structural morphological and optical characterizations of the as-deposited and annealed films were carried out using X-ray diffraction (XRD) atomic force microscopy scanning electron microscopy NKD spectrophotometer and ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. The transmittance data of the infrared spectra of the films were recorded using an FT-IR Spectrometer. The XRD studies showed that as-deposited films were amorphous and the formation of the alfa-cristobalite phase of the silica film was investigated at annealing temperature close to 1100 A degrees C. Optical properties of the transmittance spectra in the s and p-polarization modes were collected. Refractive indices and extinction coefficients were determined with respect to the NH3/TEOS ratios in the compositions of the films. Optical cut-off wavelength values were investigated from the extrapolation of the absorbance spectra which was estimated from the UV-vis spectroscopy measurements. A red shift in the absorption threshold indicated that the size of silica nanoparticles was increased by an increase in the NH3/TEOS volume ratio from 1:64 to 1:8.