Enhanced photocatalytic activity of amorphous MoO3 thin films deposited by rf reactive magnetron sputtering

M. Ponce-Mosso, M. Pérez-González*, P. E. García-Tinoco, H. Crotte-Ledesma, M. Morales-Luna, S. A. Tomás

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The photocatalytic activity of molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) thin films was studied. The MoO3 thin films were deposited on Corning glass substrates by radio frequency reactive magnetron sputtering using a metallic Mo target. The dependence of the physical properties of the metal oxides on the sputtering power and working pressure was investigated. X-ray diffraction patterns of the films revealed the formation of amorphous structures. From optical absorption spectra, the band-gap energy was obtained in the range 2.8–3.0 eV for most compounds, while this parameter decreased down to 1.64 eV for samples deposited at 4.5 mTorr and 80 W. X-ray photoelectron spectra disclosed signals associated with the Mo6+, Mo5+, and Mo4+ oxidation states, which correspond to MoO3 and other substoichiometric molybdenum oxides. The photodegradation of a methylene blue (MB) aqueous solution was chosen to evaluate the photocatalytic performance of the thin films. There was found a dependence of the photocatalytic activity on the working pressure, with the samples deposited at 8.0 mTorr and 40 W displaying the highest MB removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalCatalysis Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by CONACyT (Mexico) under projects No. 168605 and 205733. The authors are grateful to J. Santoyo-Salazar for enlightening discussions. Technical assistance was received from E. Ayala and M. Guerrero. M. Ponce-Mosso gratefully acknowledges the scholarship grant from CONACyT-SNI under the “Ayudantes de Investigador Nacional Nivel III” program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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