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Pulsed DC magnetron sputtering deposition of crystalline photocatalytic titania coatings at elevated process pressures

Ratova, M and Klaysri, R and Praserthdam, P and Kelly, PJ (2017) Pulsed DC magnetron sputtering deposition of crystalline photocatalytic titania coatings at elevated process pressures. Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing, 71. pp. 188-196. ISSN 1369-8001

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Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The use of elevated process pressures is described in the magnetron sputter deposition of titanium dioxide photocatalytic coatings to enable the direct low-temperature formation of the most photoactive titania crystal phase; anatase. Most other works on this subject deal with relatively low ‘conventional’ pressures (0.1–0.5 Pa). However, the present work describes pulsed DC reactive magnetron sputtering deposition of titanium dioxide thin films at process pressures in the range 2–5 Pa in a purpose-built sputtering rig. The influence of the other deposition conditions, such as pulse frequency and duty cycle, is also discussed. Additionally, a series of N-doped titania coatings was produced by using air as the reactive gas. The morphological and compositional properties of the coatings were studied using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Wettability of the films was studied through measurement of water contact angles under UV light irradiation. Photocatalytic properties of the samples were assessed through the degradation of two model pollutants, methylene blue and stearic acid, under UV light irradiation. The results showed that elevated process pressures (4 Pa and above) allow the direct deposition of anatase titania films, without additional heat treatment, while amorphous titania tends to form at lower process pressures.

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