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Thin Films of TiO2:N for Photo-Electrochemical Applications

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Dc-pulsed magnetron sputtering from Ti target in reactive Ar+O2+N2 atmosphere was used to grow stoichiometric TiO2:N and non-stoichiometric TiO2–x:N thin films. X-ray diffraction at glancing incidence, atomic force microscopy AFM, scanning electron microscopy SEM, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy XPS, and optical spectrophotometry were applied for sample characterization. Measurements of photocurrent versus voltage and wavelength over the ultraviolet uv and visible vis ranges of the light spectrum were performed in order to assess the performance of nitrogen-doped titanium dioxide thin films as photoanodes for hydrogen generation in photoelectrochemical cells, PEC. Undoped TiO2 and TiO2–x films were found to be composed of anatase and rutile mixture with larger anatase crystallites (25–35 nm) while the growth of smaller rutile crystallites (6–10 nm) predominated at higher nitrogen flow rates η N2 as measured in standard cubic centimeters, sccm. Nitrogen-to-titanium ratio increased from N/Ti = 0.05 at η N2 = 0.8 sccm for stoichiometric TiO2:N to N/Ti = 0.11 at η N2 = 0.8 sccm for nonstoichiometric TiO2–x:N thin films. A red-shift in the optical absorbance was observed with an increase in η N2. Doping with nitrogen improved photoelectrochemical properties over the visible range of the light spectrum in the case of nonstoichiometric samples.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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