Coatings2014, 4(4), 796-809; doi:10.3390/coatings4040796 (registering DOI) - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Titanium dioxide thin films were deposited using a Tween® surfactant modified non-aqueous sol-gel method onto fluorine doped tin oxide glass substrates. The surfactant concentration and type in the sols was varied as well as the number of deposited layers. The as deposited thin films were annealed at 500 °C for 15 min before characterisation and photocatalytic testing with resazurin intelligent ink. The films were characterised using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and UV-Vis spectroscopy. Photocatalytic activity of the films was evaluated using a resazurin dye-ink test and the hydrophilicity of the films was analysed by water-contact angles measurements. Characterisation and photocatalytic testing has shown that the addition of surfactant in varying types and concentrations had a significant effect on the resulting thin film microstructure, such as changing the average particle size from 130 to 25 nm, and increasing the average root mean square roughness from 11 to 350 nm. Such structural changes have resulted in an enhanced photocatalytic performance for the thin films, with an observed reduction in dye half-life from 16.5 to three minutes.
Abstract: Tungsten-modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon coatings (a-C:H:W) were deposited on high speed steel by reactive magnetron sputtering of a tungsten carbide target in an argon-ethine atmosphere. The deposition parameters, sputtering power, bias voltage, argon and ethine flow rate, were varied according to a central composite design comprising 25 different parameter combinations. For comparison, a tungsten carbide coating was deposited, as well. During coating deposition, the process variables, total pressure, sputtering voltage and bias current, were measured as process characteristics. The thickness of the deposited coatings was determined using the crater grinding method, and the deposition rate was calculated. Young’s modulus E and indentation hardness HIT were characterized by means of nanoindentation. With E = 80
Abstract: pH sensors are widely used in chemical and biological applications. Metal oxides-based pH sensors have many attractive features including insolubility, stability, mechanical strength, electrocatalyst and manufacturing technology. Various metal oxide thin films prepared by radio frequency (R.F.) magnetron sputtering have attractive features, including high pH sensitivity, fast response, high resolution, good stability and reversibility as well as potential for measuring pH under conditions that are not favourable for the commonly used glass electrodes-based pH sensors. In addition, thin film pH sensors prepared by R.F. magnetron sputtering offer many advantages, such as ease of packaging, low cost through the use of standard microfabrication processes, miniaturisation, capability of measuring pH at high temperatures, ruggedness and disposability. In this paper, recent development of R.F. magnetron sputtered thin films for pH sensing applications are reviewed.
Abstract: Pd-F:SnO2 thin films have been prepared by spray pyrolysis technique. Optimization has been done by doping SnO2 with palladium at varying levels of concentration and then recording sheet resistance. The sheet resistivity has been observed to decrease gradually as at% Pd concentration is increased; an optimum sheet resistivity value of 2.71 × 10−2 Ω cm has been recorded. The decrease in sheet resistivity has been attributed to presence of Pd ions which contribute in increment of charge carrier density. Using the optimum value of at% Pd doping, the same procedure has been repeated to study the effect of fluorine on Pd:SnO2; an optimum value of 1.64 × 10−4 Ω cm sheet resistivity has been recorded. This decrease has been attributed to substitution of O− with those of fluorine hence improving charge carrier density. The effect of passivation has been studied by comparing as prepared, annealed and passivated Pd-F:SnO2 thin films. Annealing has been observed to decrease the sheet resistivity to 1.21 × 10−4 Ω cm, while passivation has the effect of increasing the sheet resistivity to 1.53 × 10−4 Ω cm which is attributed to effects resulting from annealing the samples in nitrogen gas atmosphere.
Abstract: Fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) coatings have been prepared using the mid-frequency pulsed DC closed field unbalanced magnetron sputtering technique in an Ar/O2 atmosphere using blends of tin oxide and tin fluoride powder formed into targets. FTO coatings were deposited with a thickness of 400 nm on glass substrates. No post-deposition annealing treatments were carried out. The effects of the chemical composition on the structural (phase, grain size), optical (transmission, optical band-gap) and electrical (resistivity, charge carrier, mobility) properties of the thin films were investigated. Depositing FTO by magnetron sputtering is an environmentally friendly technique and the use of loosely packed blended powder targets gives an efficient means of screening candidate compositions, which also provides a low cost operation. The best film characteristics were achieved using a mass ratio of 12% SnF2 to 88% SnO2 in the target. The thin film produced was polycrystalline with a tetragonal crystal structure. The optimized conditions resulted in a thin film with average visible transmittance of 83% and optical band-gap of 3.80 eV, resistivity of 6.71 × 10−3 Ω·cm, a carrier concentration (Nd) of 1.46 × 1020 cm−3 and a mobility of 15 cm2/Vs.
Abstract: External walls made with hollow clay brick or block are widely used for their thermal, acoustic and structural properties. However, the performance of the bricks frequently does not conform with the minimum legal requirements or the values required for high efficiency buildings, and for this reason, they need to be integrated with layers of thermal insulation. In this paper, the thermal behavior of hollow clay block with low emissivity treatment on the internal cavity surfaces has been investigated. The purpose of this application is to obtain a reduction in the thermal conductivity of the block by lowering the radiative heat exchange in the enclosures. The aims of this paper are to indicate a methodology for evaluating the thermal performance of the brick and to provide information about the benefits that should be obtained. Theoretical evaluations are carried out on several bricks (12 geometries simulated with two different thermal conductivities of the clay), using a finite elements model. The heat exchange procedure is implemented in accordance with the standard, so as to obtain standardized values of the thermal characteristics of the block. Several values of emissivity are hypothesized, related to different kinds of coating. Finally, the values of the thermal transmittance of walls built with the evaluated blocks have been calculated and compared. The results show how coating the internal surface of the cavity provides a reduction in the thermal conductivity of the block, of between 26% and 45%, for a surface emissivity of 0.1.