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Reactive Magnetron Sputter Deposition of Bismuth Tungstate Coatings for Water Treatment Applications under Natural Sunlight

Ratova, M and Marcelino, R and de Souza, P and Amorim, C and Kelly, P (2017) Reactive Magnetron Sputter Deposition of Bismuth Tungstate Coatings for Water Treatment Applications under Natural Sunlight. Catalysts, 7 (10). ISSN 2073-4344

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Abstract

Bismuth complex oxides, in particular, bismuth tungstate, have recently attracted attention as promising photocatalytic materials for water treatment processes. In the present work, photocatalytic bismuth tungstate films were prepared by pulsed direct current (DC) reactive magnetron sputtering of Bi and W targets in an Ar/O2 atmosphere onto spherically-shaped glass beads. The uniform coverage of the substrate was enabled by the use of oscillating bowl placed underneath the magnetrons. The atomic ratio of Bi/W was varied through the variation of the power applied to the magnetrons. The deposited coatings were analyzed by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. The photocatalytic properties of the films were studied via the methylene blue (MB) degradation process under artificial (fluorescent light) and natural (sunlight) irradiation, and compared to the photocatalytic performance of titanium dioxide coatings deposited onto identical substrates. The results showed that the photocatalytic performance of bismuth tungstate and bismuth oxide-coated beads was superior to that exhibited by TiO2-coated beads. Overall, reactive magnetron co-sputtering has been shown to be a promising technique for deposition of narrow band gap bismuth-based semiconducting oxides onto irregularly-shaped substrates for potential use in water treatment applications.

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