The effect of deposition conditions on the photocatalytic activity of TiO2-ZnO thin films was studied. By using a (Ti)90-(Zn)10 alloy target, the samples were deposited at room temperature on glass substrates by dc reactive magnetron sputtering and post-annealed in air at 500 °C. The dependence of the physical properties of the films on the O2/Ar gas ratio and the deposition working pressure was investigated. XRD patterns showed mainly the formation of the anatase phase of TiO2. Optical absorption measurements exhibited a blue shift of the band-gap energy with increasing working pressure. XPS spectra indicated the presence of the Ti4+ and Zn2+ oxidation states, which correspond to TiO2 and ZnO, respectively. The chemical state of Ti was further analyzed by means of the modified Auger parameter, α’, which gave a value of ca. 873 eV. The photocatalytic property of the films was assessed by the degradation of a methylene blue aqueous solution. The maximum photocatalytic performance was observed for the samples deposited at 3.0 mTorr and O2/Ar gas ratio of 10/90. These results are explained in terms of the structural, optical, and morphological properties of the films.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by CONACyT (Mexico) under projects No. 168605 and 205733. Technical assistance was received from E. Ayala, A. García-Sotelo, A. Guillén, and M. Guerrero.
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry