Enhanced photocatalytic activity of TiO2-ZnO thin films deposited by dc reactive magnetron sputtering

M. Pérez-González*, S. A. Tomás, J. Santoyo-Salazar, M. Morales-Luna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8831-8838
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding 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.

Publisher Copyright:
© 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


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