Influence of morphology on electrical and optical properties of graphene/Al-doped ZnO-nanorod composites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The development of future 3D-printed electronics relies on the access to highly conductive inexpensive materials that are printable at low temperatures (<100 C). The implementation of available materials for these applications are, however, still limited by issues related to cost and printing quality. Here, we report on the simple hydrothermal growth of novel nanocomposites that are well suited for conductive printing applications. The nanocomposites comprise highly Al-doped ZnO nanorods grown on graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs). The ZnO nanorods play the two major roles of (i) preventing GNPs from agglomerating and (ii) promoting electrical conduction paths between the graphene platelets. The effect of two different ZnO-nanorod morphologies with varying Al-doping concentration on the nanocomposite conductivity and the graphene dispersity are investigated. Time-dependent absorption, photoluminescence and photoconductivity measurements show that growth in high pH solutions promotes a better graphene dispersity, higher doping levels and enhanced bonding between the graphene and the ZnO nanorods. Growth in low pH solutions yields samples characterized by a higher conductivity and a reduced number of surface defects. These samples also exhibit a large persistent photoconductivity attributed to an effective charge separation and transfer from the nanorods to the graphene platelets. Our findings can be used to tailor the conductivity of novel printable composites, or for fabrication of large volumes of inexpensive porous conjugated graphene-semiconductor composites.


  • Ebrahim Chalangar
  • Houssaine Machhadani
  • Seung Hyuk Lim
  • K. Fredrik Karlsson
  • Omer Nur
  • Magnus Willander
  • Hakan Pettersson
External organisations
  • Linköping University
  • Halmstad University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nano Technology


  • grapheme, nanocomposites, nanorods, persistent photoconductivity, printing, zinc oxide
Original languageEnglish
Article number415201
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1
Publication categoryResearch