Microstructure, Optical and Photocatalytic Properties of TiO2 Thin Films Prepared by Chelating-Agent Assisted Sol–Gel Method
Single and multilayer TiO2 thin films coated on two types of soda-lime glass substrates (microscope slides and cylinders) were prepared by a chelating agent-assisted sol–gel method, using ethyl acetoacetate as a chelating agent, dip-coating and calcination at 500 °C for 2 h in air. Phase composition, microstructural, morphological and optical properties of thin films were comprehensively investigated by using XRF, advanced XRD analysis, Raman and UV-vis spectroscopy and AFM. It was found out that the thickness of thin films increases linearly with increasing number of deposited layers, indicating a good adhesion of the titania solution to a glass substrate as well as to a previously calcined layer. 1 layer film crystallized to anatase-TiO2(B) mixture with minor/negligible amount of nanosized brookite, 2–4 layers films crystallized to anatase-brookite-TiO2(B) mixture. In contrast to other multilayers films, 4 layers film was highly inhomogeneous. The different phase composition of thin films was clarified based on the crystallization via titanate/s and metastable monoclinic TiO2(B) as a consequence of several phenomena; the diffusion of Na+ ions from a sodalime glass substrate, acidic conditions and repeated thermal treatment. The multilayer films were in average highly transparent (80–95%) in the visible light region with the sharp absorption edge in the UV light region. Additionally, the photocatalytic properties of selected multilayer films were compared in AO7 photodegradation. Photocatalytic experiments showed that thicker 4 layers film of tricrystalline anatase-brookite-TiO2(B) phase mixture was similarly active as thinner 3 layers film of similar phase composition, which may be a consequence of the inhomogeneity of the thicker film.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2016
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