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ZnO Low-Dimensional Thin Films Used as a Potential Material for Water Treatment †

Anna Kulis-Kapuscinska
Monika Kwoka
Michal Adam Borysiewicz
Massimo Sgarzi
3 and
Gianaurelio Cuniberti
Department of Cybernetics, Nanotechnology and Data Processing, Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science, Silesian University of Technology, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Institute of Electron Technology, 02-668 Warsaw, Poland
Institute for Materials Science and Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials, Dresden University of Technology, 01062 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 8th International Symposium on Sensor Science, 17–28 May 2021; Available online:
Published: 17 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 8th International Symposium on Sensor Science)


In this work, the properties of zinc oxide (ZnO) low-dimensional conductive oxide nanostructures in the aspect of their potential applications in microelectronics, in toxic gas sensing, as well as in water remediation, have been determined. ZnO nanostructured porous thin films deposited by DC reactive sputtering (RS) have been deposited on Si substrates at different temperature conditions. For surface properties and chemical morphology analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have been used. Thanks to these techniques, it was possible to obtain information on thin film surface modifications caused by the adsorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and by the adsorption of photodegradation products following the photocatalysis experiments. The ZnO thin films were tested for their photocatalytic properties under UV light irradiation. For this purpose, methylene blue was used as a dye model pollutant to evaluate the activity of the nanostructures. It was observed that the ZnO thin films are able to photocatalytically degrade methylene blue. These results demonstrate that properly selected zinc oxide nanostructures, currently used in toxic gas sensing, can find application in the removal of micropollutants such as dyes and pharmaceuticals present in wastewater.

Supplementary Materials


The research of AK-K, M.K. was funded by the National Science Centre in Poland granted according to decisions DEC-2016/21/B/ST7/02244.

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Data Availability Statement

Data can be made available on demand.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kulis-Kapuscinska, A.; Kwoka, M.; Borysiewicz, M.A.; Sgarzi, M.; Cuniberti, G. ZnO Low-Dimensional Thin Films Used as a Potential Material for Water Treatment. Eng. Proc. 2021, 6, 10.

AMA Style

Kulis-Kapuscinska A, Kwoka M, Borysiewicz MA, Sgarzi M, Cuniberti G. ZnO Low-Dimensional Thin Films Used as a Potential Material for Water Treatment. Engineering Proceedings. 2021; 6(1):10.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kulis-Kapuscinska, Anna, Monika Kwoka, Michal Adam Borysiewicz, Massimo Sgarzi, and Gianaurelio Cuniberti. 2021. "ZnO Low-Dimensional Thin Films Used as a Potential Material for Water Treatment" Engineering Proceedings 6, no. 1: 10.

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