The UV sensing properties of ZnO nanorods (NRs) fabricated by a chemical bath deposition using two different hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) concentrations, 25 mM and 50 mM, are studied in this work. The NRs are investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, and photoconductivity measurements. The SEM images indicate that 25 mM HMTA NRs exhibit merging that increases the growth induced defects in this sample with respect to the 50 mM sample. PL measurements demonstrate a higher optical transition from the doubly ionized Zn vacancy (VZn2) at 2.52 eV in the 50 mM ZnO NRs due to the reduced growth defect density. The photoconductivity measurements indicate better sensitivity and spectral selectivity in the 50 mM NRs, which we present as a result of the VZn2 state. These results are summarised with a UV sensing model based on the optical properties of ZnO NRs, which provides a route for the development of improved sensors.

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