Research Highlight

Nanochains with beads

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.321 Published online 29 October 2009

Researchers have used filter paper to grow beaded nanochains of zinc oxide (ZnO) that plays a vital role in photocatalytic degradation1.

The beaded nanochains could be used to detoxify water.

Nanostructures made of ZnO have potential use in UV photodetection, energy conversion, gas sensing and catalysis. Given its versatility, the researchers used the relatively less explored agent filter paper to produce novel ZnO nanostructures.

They produced beaded nanochains of ZnO using an aqueous solution of the zinc salt as precursor and commercially available Whatman filter paper as template. The nanoparticles were formed along the fibrous cellulosic material of the filter paper in the shape of a beaded chain.

The beads are more or less hexagonal in shape. The average diameter of the beads is in the range 34–54 nm.

"This growth method has the potential for designing and combining multifunctional properties of the nanostructures and can be extended to other semiconductors too," says lead researcher Durga Basak from the department of solid state physics of Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata.


  1. Dutta, M. et al. A novel and simple method to grow beaded nanochains of ZnO with superior photocatalytic activity. Nanotechnology 20, 475602 (2009) | Article | ADS