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The XRD pattern of [email protected] is shown in figure 6A. The Figure shows a hump at 2? around 25o and some diffraction peaks at 2 theta higher than 30o. The XRD pattern illustrates that the material has amorphous structure which is the PUF polymer with crystalline phase embedded in it. The diffraction peaks at 31.84?, 34.52?, 36.33?, 47.63?, 56.71?, 62.96?, 68.13?, and 69.18? are attributed to zinc oxide nanoparticles (inset graph Fig.6B). These diffraction peaks are similar to other results reported in (Zhou et el., 2007; Khoshhesab et el., 2011) and are reported to be hexagonal wurtzite phase of ZnO. Also, those diffraction peaks are the same reported in Joint Committee on Powder Diffraction Standards (JCPDS file PDF NO. 36-1451) (Li et el., 2010). However, there is one diffraction peak observed at 2theta around 77.21°. This peak can be attributed to the coupling between PUF and ZnO NPs. The average crystallite size of [email protected] can be calculated from the diffraction peaks using Debye-Scherrer formula (Klug and Alexander, 1974):
(3)
Where ? is the wavelength of X-rays (0.15418 nm), ? is the Bragg diffraction angle, and ? is the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) of the diffraction peak. The average particles size was calculated and was found to be 18.36 nm. The value found for the crystallite size is in good agreement with the value reported in (Mashrai et el., 2017).
Figure 6
The surface morphology of [email protected] was investigated using SEM at different magnifications as shown in Fig. 7. SEM images of the surface of [email protected] at low magnification show that it has a rough surface, containing many spaces and pores indicating good sorption characteristics (Fig.7A). At higher magnification as in Fig. 7B we can see that ZnONPs are aggregated on the surface of the PUF. The ZnONPs are also absorbed inside the polymer through the pores as we can see in Figs. 7c and 7d. All of that prove that the coupling between the polymer and ZnONPs was successful.

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