The new hybrid materials of zinc oxide with montmorillonite were synthesized by a reaction between the aqueous solutions of the reactants of zinc oxide (zinc chloride and sodium hydroxide solutions) and montmorillonite or hexadecyltrimetylammonium-montmorillonite. The hybrids were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform-infrared, UV-visible and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The diffuse reflectance absorption spectra of the hybrids exhibited the absorption onsets at 375 nm for zinc oxide-montmorillonite and at 378 nm for zinc oxide-hexadecyltrimetylammonium- montmorillonite, respectively, confirming the formation of zinc oxide in the hybrid materials. The photoluminescence bands of both hybrids, which can be attributed to singly ionized oxygen vacancy in zinc oxide, were observed at 548 nm. The enhancement in emission intensity of the zinc oxide hybrids may be probably due to increase in oxygen vacancies defect arose by the surrounding environment of montmorillonite.
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