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what is zinc oxide?

Number of visits: Date:2011-07-28 15:23

Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. It usually appears as a white powder, nearly insoluble in water. The powder is widely used as an additive into numerous materials and products including plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, rubber (e.g., car tires), lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods (source of Zn nutrient), batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, first aid tapes, etc. ZnO is present in the Earth's crust as the mineral zincite; however, most ZnO used commercially is produced synthetically. In materials science, ZnO is a wide-bandgap semiconductor of the II-VI semiconductor group (since zinc and oxygen belong to the 2nd and 6th groups of the periodic table, respectively). The native doping of the semiconductor (due to oxygen vacancies) is n-type. This semiconductor has several favorable properties: good transparency, high electron mobility, wide bandgap, strong room-temperature luminescence, etc. Those properties are already used in emerging applications for transparent electrodes in liquid crystal displays and in energy-saving or heat-protecting windows, and electronic applications of ZnO as thin-film transistors and light-emitting diodes are forthcoming as of 2009.

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