Author(s): Patrocinio AO, Paula LF, Paniago RM, Freitag J, Bahnemann DW
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Abstract New TiO2/WO3 films were produced by the layer-by-layer (LbL) technique and successfully applied as self-cleaning photocatalytic surfaces. The films were deposited on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) glass substrates from the respective metal oxide nanoparticles obtained by the sol-gel method. Thirty alternative immersions in pH = 2 TiO2 and pH = 10 WO3 sols resulted in ca. 400 nm thick films that exhibited a W(VI)/Ti(IV) molar ratio of 0.5, as determined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy, along with atomic force images, showed that the resulting layers are constituted by aggregates of very small nanoparticles (<20 nm) and exhibited nanoporous and homogeneous morphology. The electronic and optical properties of the films were investigated by UV-vis spectrophotometry and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy. The films behave as nanoscale heterojunctions, and the presence of WO3 nanoparticles caused a decrease in the optical band gap of the bilayers compared to that of pure LbL TiO2 films. The TiO2/WO3 thin films exhibited high hydrophilicity, which is enhanced after exposition to UV light, and they can efficiently oxidize gaseous acetaldehyde under UV(A) irradiation. Photonic efficiencies of ξ = 1.5\% were determined for films constituted by 30 TiO2/WO3 bilayers in the presence of 1 ppm of acetaldehyde, which are ∼2 times higher than those observed for pure LbL TiO2 films. Therefore, these films can act as efficient and cost-effective layers for self-cleaning, antifogging applications.
This article was published in ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
and referenced in Journal of Advanced Chemical Engineering