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Coatings 2014, 4(3), 587-601; doi:10.3390/coatings4030587

Tuning the Photocatalytic Activity of Anatase TiO2 Thin Films by Modifying the Preferred <001> Grain Orientation with Reactive DC Magnetron Sputtering

Department of Engineering Sciences, The Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 534, SE-75121 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2014 / Revised: 10 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: TiO2; photocatalysis; DC magnetron sputtering; preferred orientation; (001) facets TiO2; photocatalysis; DC magnetron sputtering; preferred orientation; (001) facets

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Stefanov, B.; Österlund, L. Tuning the Photocatalytic Activity of Anatase TiO2 Thin Films by Modifying the Preferred <001> Grain Orientation with Reactive DC Magnetron Sputtering. Coatings 2014, 4, 587-601.

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