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Tuning the Photocatalytic Activity of Anatase TiO2 Thin Films by Modifying the Preferred <001> Grain Orientation with Reactive DC Magnetron Sputtering
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.
2014 (English)In: Coatings, ISSN 2079-6412, Vol. 4, no 3, 587-601 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anatase TiO2 thin films were deposited by DC reactive magnetron sputtering on glass substrates at 20 mTorr pressure in a flow of an Ar and O2 gas mixture. The O2 partial pressure (PO2) was varied from 0.65 mTorr to 1.3 mTorr to obtain two sets of films with different stoichiometry. The structure and morphology of the films were characterized by secondary electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and grazing-angle X-ray diffraction complemented by Rietveld refinement. The as-deposited films were amorphous. Post-annealing in air for 1 h at 500 °C resulted in polycrystalline anatase film structures with mean grain size of 24.2 nm (PO2 = 0.65 mTorr) and 22.1 nm (PO2 = 1.3 mTorr), respectively. The films sputtered at higher O2 pressure showed a preferential orientation in the <001> direction, which was associated with particle surfaces exposing highly reactive {001} facets. Films sputtered at lower O2 pressure exhibited no, or very little, preferential grain orientation, and were associated with random distribution of particles exposing mainly the thermodynamically favorable {101} surfaces. Photocatalytic degradation measurements using methylene blue dye showed that <001> oriented films exhibited approximately 30% higher reactivity. The measured intensity dependence of the degradation rate revealed that the UV-independent rate constant was 64% higher for the <001> oriented film compared to randomly oriented films. The reaction order was also found to be higher for <001> films compared to randomly oriented films, suggesting that the <001> oriented film exposes more reactive surface sites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 4, no 3, 587-601 p.
Keyword [en]
TiO2, photocatalysis, DC magnetron sputtering, preferred orientation, (001) facets
National Category
Materials Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry Nano Technology
Research subject
Chemistry with specialization in Materials Chemistry; Chemistry with specialization in Physical Chemistry; Chemistry with specialization in Inorganic Chemistry; Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229598DOI: 10.3390/coatings4030587OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229598DiVA: diva2:737120
ERC Grant Agreement No. 267234 (“GRINDOOR”)
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 267234 ("GRINDOOR")
Available from: 2014-08-11 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Photocatalytic TiO2 thin films for air cleaning: Effect of facet orientation, chemical functionalization, and reaction conditions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Photocatalytic TiO2 thin films for air cleaning: Effect of facet orientation, chemical functionalization, and reaction conditions
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Poor indoor air quality is a source of adverse health effects. TiO2 coatings deposited on well-illuminated surfaces, such as window panes, can be used to fully mineralize indoor air pollutants by photocatalysis. In such applications it is important to ensure stable photocatalytic activity for a wide range of operating conditions, such as relative humidity and temperature, and to avoid deactivation of the catalyst.

In this thesis photocatalytic removal of the indoor-pollutant acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) on nanostructured TiO2 films is investigated, and in particular it is proposed how such films can be modified and operated for maximum performance. Catalyst deactivation can be reduced by purposefully changing the surface acidity of TiO2 by covalently attaching SO4 to the surface. Moreover, the overall photocatalytic activity on anatase TiO2 films can be improved by increasing the fraction of exposed reactive {001} surfaces, which otherwise are dominated by {101} surfaces.

In the first part of the thesis mode-resolved in-situ FTIR is used to elucidate the reaction kinetics of CH3CHO adsorption and photo-oxidation on the TiO2 and SO4 – modified TiO2 surfaces. Surface concentrations of main products and corresponding reaction rates were determined. Formate is the major reaction product, whose further oxidation limits the complete oxidation to gaseous species, and is responsible for photocatalyst deactivation by site inhibition. The oxidation reaction is characterized by two reaction pathways, which are associated with two types of surface reaction sites. On the sulfate modified TiO2 catalyst fewer intermediates are accumulated, and this catalyst resists deactivation much better than pure TiO2. A hitherto unknown intermediate – surface-bound acetaldehyde dimer with an adsorption band at 1643 cm−1 was discovered, using interplay between FTIR spectroscopy and DFT calculations.

The second part of the thesis treats the effect of increasing the relative abundance of exposed {001} facets on the photocatalytic activity of anatase TiO2 films prepared by DC magnetron sputtering. A positive effect was observed both for liquid-phase photo-oxidation of methylene blue, and for gas-phase photocatalytic removal of CH3CHO. In both cases it was found that the exposed {001} surfaces were an order of magnitude more reactive, compared to the {101} ones. Furthermore, it was found that the reactive films were more resilient towards deactivation, and exhibited almost unchanged activity under varying reaction conditions. Finally, a synergetic effect of SO4 – modification and high fraction of exposed {001} surfaces was found, yielding photocatalysts with sustained high activity.

The results presented here for facet controlled and chemically modified TiO2 films are of interest for applications in the built environment for indoor air purification and as self-cleaning surfaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 148 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1307
titanium dioxide, photocatalysis, thin films, surface functionallization, acetaldehyde, indoor air cleaning, sputter deposition, crystallographic modifications, preferential orientation, self-cleaning surfaces
National Category
Chemical Engineering Materials Engineering Nano Technology Theoretical Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265056 (URN)978-91-554-9387-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-11, Polhemssalen, Lägerhyddsv. 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
EU, European Research Council, ERC Grant Agreement No. 267234 (“GRINDOOR”)
Available from: 2015-11-19 Created: 2015-10-21 Last updated: 2016-01-13

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