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Micro-patterning of magnetron sputtered titanium dioxide coatings and their efficiency for photocatalytic applications

Ratova, M, Sawtell, D ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3992-6850 and Kelly, PJ ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1008-4941 (2020) Micro-patterning of magnetron sputtered titanium dioxide coatings and their efficiency for photocatalytic applications. Coatings, 10 (1).

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Abstract

© 2020 by the authors. Titanium dioxide thin films were deposited onto sola-lime glass substrates by reactive magnetron sputtering. Fine stainless steel mesh sheets with different aperture sizes were applied as masks over glass substrates to allow the deposition of the coatings with micro-patterned structures and, therefore, enhanced surface area. Non-patterned titania films were deposited for comparison purposes. The titanium dioxide films were post-deposition annealed at 873 K for crystallinity development and then extensively analysed by a number of analytical techniques, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), optical and stylus profilometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity of non-patterned and micro-patterned titania films was assessed under UV light irradiation by three different methods; namely methylene blue, stearic acid, and oleic acid degradation. The results revealed that the micro-patterned coatings significantly outperformed non-patterned titania in all types of photocatalytic tests, due to their higher values of surface area. Increasing the aperture of the stainless steel mesh resulted in lower photocatalytic activity and lower surface area values, compared to the coatings deposited through a smaller aperture mesh.

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