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Catalysts 2018, 8(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8010025

TiO2 Nanotubes on Transparent Substrates: Control of Film Microstructure and Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Performance

1
Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, Faculty of Science, Palacky University, 17. Listopadu 1192/12, 771 46 Olomouc, Czech Republic
2
Department of Inorganic Technology, University of Chemical Technology Prague, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Slovance 2, 14800 Prague, Czech Republic
4
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Martensstrasse 7, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Titanium Dioxide Photocatalysis)
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Abstract

Transfer of semiconductor thin films on transparent and or flexible substrates is a highly desirable process to enable photonic, catalytic, and sensing technologies. A promising approach to fabricate nanostructured TiO2 films on transparent substrates is self-ordering by anodizing of thin metal films on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO). Here, we report pulsed direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering for the deposition of titanium thin films on conductive glass substrates at temperatures ranging from room temperature to 450 °C. We describe in detail the influence that deposition temperature has on mechanical, adhesion and microstructural properties of titanium film, as well as on the corresponding TiO2 nanotube array obtained after anodization and annealing. Finally, we measure the photoelectrochemical water splitting activity of different TiO2 nanotube samples showing that the film deposited at 150 °C has much higher activity correlating well with the lower crystallite size and the higher degree of self-organization observed in comparison with the nanotubes obtained at different temperatures. Importantly, the film showing higher water splitting activity does not have the best adhesion on glass substrate, highlighting an important trade-off for future optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: titanium; anodization; TiO2 nanotubes; hardness; adhesion; photoelectrochemistry titanium; anodization; TiO2 nanotubes; hardness; adhesion; photoelectrochemistry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Zelny, M.; Kment, S.; Ctvrtlik, R.; Pausova, S.; Kmentova, H.; Tomastik, J.; Hubicka, Z.; Rambabu, Y.; Krysa, J.; Naldoni, A.; Schmuki, P.; Zboril, R. TiO2 Nanotubes on Transparent Substrates: Control of Film Microstructure and Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Performance. Catalysts 2018, 8, 25.

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