The recent global pandemic of COVID-19 highlights the urgent need for practical applications of anti-microbial coatings on touch-surfaces. Nanostructured TiO2
is a promising candidate for the passive reduction of transmission when applied to handles, push-plates and switches in hospitals. Here we report control of the nanostructure dimension of the mille-feuille
crystal plates in anatase columnar crystals as a function of the coating thickness. This nanoplate thickness is key to achieving the large aspect ratio of surface area to migration path length. TiO2
solid coatings were prepared by pulsed-pressure metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (pp-MOCVD) under the same deposition temperature and mass flux, with thickness ranging from 1.3–16 μm, by varying the number of precursor pulses. SEM and STEM were used to measure the mille-feuille
plate width which is believed to be a key functional nano-dimension for photocatalytic activity. Competitive growth produces a larger columnar crystal diameter with thickness. The question is if the nano-dimension also increases with columnar crystal size. We report that the nano-dimension increases with the film thickness, ranging from 17–42 nm. The results of this study can be used to design a coating which has co-optimized thickness for durability and nano-dimension for enhanced photocatalytic properties.
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