This paper presents the results of studies of the local surface properties of pure and highly Nb-doped (12 wt %) TiO2
nanotubes (TNT) using the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods, respectively. XPS analysis showed that the pure TNT exhibit an evident over-stoichiometry combined with high level of undesired C contaminations, which was confirmed by the relative concentration of specific elements O, Ti and C (with respect to all the surface atoms) equal to 0.46, 018 and 0.36, respectively. In turn, for the highly Nb-doped (12 wt %) TNT, a slightly different surface chemistry was observed because the relative concentration of specific elements O and Ti and, with respect to all the surface atoms, is slightly lower, that is, 0.42 and 0.12, respectively; this is directly related to the fact that Nb atoms appeared having the relative concentration at the level of 0.09, whereas the undesired C contaminations reached the same level (0.36), as is the case of pure TNT. In addition, SEM analysis confirms that there are evident free spaces between the specific slops containing several TNT, what was additionally confirmed by the contribution of specific surface bonding coming from the SiO2
/Si substrate. The obtained information allowed us a new insight on the potential origin of aging effect at the surface of TNT in atmosphere being the undesired limitation for their potential application as the chemical resistive type sensors or in any other fields of their application related to their surface activity.
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