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Tantalum Oxynitride Thin Films: Assessment of the Photocatalytic Efficiency and Antimicrobial Capacity

1
Materials Science and Engineering Faculty, Transilvania University, Eroilor 29, 500036 Brașov, Romania
2
Physics Center, Minho University, Gualtar Campus, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3
Institute for Nuclear Research Pitesti, Str. Campului Nr. 1, POB 78, 115400 Mioveni, Arges, Romania
4
Faculty of Physics, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 11 Carol I Blvd, 700506 Iasi, Romania
5
University Politehnica of Bucharest, National Research Center for Micro and Nanomaterials, Gh. Polizu Street No.1-7, 011061 Bucharest, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030476
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
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Abstract

Tantalum oxynitride thin films have been deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering, using a fixed proportion reactive gas mixture (85% N2 + 15% O2). To produce the films, the partial pressure of the mixture in the working atmosphere was varied. The characteristics of the produced films were analyzed from three main perspectives and correspondent correlations: the study of the bonding states in the films, the efficiency of photo-degradation, and the antibacterial/antibiofilm capacity of the coatings against Salmonella. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy results suggest that nitride and oxynitride features agree with a constant behavior relative to the tantalum chemistry. The coatings deposited with a higher reactive gas mixture partial pressure exhibit a significantly better antibiofilm capacity. Favorable antibacterial resistance was correlated with the presence of dominant oxynitride contributions. The photocatalytic ability of the deposited films was assessed by measuring the level of degradation of an aqueous solution containing methyl orange, with or without the addition of H2O2, under UV or VIS irradiation. Degradation efficiencies as high as 82% have been obtained, suggesting that tantalum oxynitride films, obtained in certain configurations, are promising materials for the photodegradation of organic pollutants (dyes). View Full-Text
Keywords: tantalum oxynitride; magnetron sputtering; surface roughness; photocatalytic activity; antibiofilm capacity tantalum oxynitride; magnetron sputtering; surface roughness; photocatalytic activity; antibiofilm capacity
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Cristea, D.; Cunha, L.; Gabor, C.; Ghiuta, I.; Croitoru, C.; Marin, A.; Velicu, L.; Besleaga, A.; Vasile, B. Tantalum Oxynitride Thin Films: Assessment of the Photocatalytic Efficiency and Antimicrobial Capacity. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 476.

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