Nanorose-like ZnCo 2 O 4 coatings synthesized via sol–gel route: morphology, grain growth and DFT simulations

Ella Awaltanova, Amun Amri, Nicholas Mondinos, Mohammednoor Altarawneh, T. S.Y. Moh, Hantarto Widjaja, Lee Siang Chuah, Hooi Ling Lee, Chun Yang-Yin, M. Mahbubur Rahman, Idral Amri, Iwantono Iwantono, Zhong Tao Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Ternary cobalt-based metal oxide (ZnCo 2 O 4 ) has been successfully coated onto aluminum substrate via sol–gel method. The coatings were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) and UV–Vis–NIR spectrophotometry. Thermal degradation of the coatings was probed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential thermal analysis (DTA). Model of crystal growth kinetics and density functional theory (DFT) calculations further probed the crystalline structure evolution. The predicted ZnCo 2 O 4 crystalline structures were confirmed by XRD and EDX. The grain growth kinetic model for ZnCo 2 O 4 , derived from Lifshitz–Slyozov–Wagner (LSW) theory, determined that the growth of crystalline phases is unaffected by the annealing temperature; however, the crystallites’ sizes decreased with the increase in precursor concentration. DFT analysis indicated that structural energy stability between the bulk state and slabs of ZnCo 2 O 4 was at two oxygen layers (O-layers) with an optimum grain width of 17.21 Å. Interestingly, the morphology of ZnCo 2 O 4 represented a rose-like template structure formed by inter-connecting layers of nanosheets. This unique surface morphology enhanced the optical absorptance properties up to α = 70.7%. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-464
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorptance
  • Crystal growth
  • Crystalline structural
  • Nanorose
  • Sol–gel
  • Zinc cobalt oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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