This work is a contribution to our previous research in which we dealt with the influence of different preparation methods on fundamental properties of ZnO nanoparticles. Our current research was focused on the formation of oxygen vacancies in ZnO nanoparticles, especially by the UV radiation-assisted precipitation. The models of ZnO vacant structures were built in the Materials Studio Environment. The modelling results showed that under UV irradiation the higher amount of large oxygen vacancies was created and resulting strain in the ZnO structure likely lead to disintegration of the ZnO nanoparticles into the smaller ones, i.e. from the mean size from 25 nm to 15 nm, as observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).The concentrations of dissolved oxygen in ZnO aqueous nanodispersions were measured during their synthesis. The significant decrease of the oxygen concentration during UV irradiation indicated that hydroxyl radicals were generated and the oxygen vacancies were formed by photocorrosion of the already precipitated ZnO nanoparticles.Keywords: ZnO nanoparticles, oxygen vacancies, UV irradiation, precipitation, molecular modelling.
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