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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited