GaN:ZnO solid solution nanoparticles and films were synthesized by using ZnGa2O4 nanoparticles with a particle size of below 25 nm obtained hydrothermally as a precursor. Nitridation of powder ZnGa2O4 nanoparticles led to the formation of GaN:ZnO nanoparticles. The nitrided samples have higher specific surface area than those obtained by conventional method, which induces higher photocatalytic NOx decomposition activity. In addition, a transparent coating film with ZnGa2O4 nanoparticles was converted to GaN:ZnO film after nitridation. The nitrided film absorbs UV and blue light and is transparent for light of wavelength over 500 nm (the transmittance is over 90 %). This means that the nitridation does not lead to the formation of scattering domains by the large-size particles and cracks. This method for film preparation is much cheaper than conventional CVD and sputtering processes. These results strongly suggest the utility of ZnGa2O4 nanoparticles not only for the formation of GaN:ZnO solid solution nanoparticles with high specific surface area but also for the preparation of transparent GaN:ZnO solid solution films.
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