Highly Transparent N-Type TiO<sub>2</sub> Coatings for Self-Cleaning Glass Application

Key Engineering Materials(2022)

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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been exploited extensively as it shows remarkable performance in photocatalytic applications. TiO2 thin films can be deposited onto window glass which is workable for self-cleaning applications. In this article, we have studied the role of substrate temperature for spray pyrolysis (SP) of TiO2 thin films for studying self-cleaning applications. For thin film deposition, TiO2 sol is prepared by the sol-gel synthesis technique. The samples are deposited at room temperature and 250 °C, respectively. The samples are characterized via Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and UV-Vis spectroscopy to determine the morphology, surface roughness, and optical properties of the thin films. SEM and AFM results show that samples deposited at 250 °C (pre-heated samples) have uniform size distribution, and defined grain boundaries, respectively. The results also show that the pre-heated sample is highly transparent in the visible region of the solar spectrum when analyzed by the steady-state UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The wettability of the prepared thin films is measured, and the results show that the pre-heated sample shows a hydrophilic character. The self-cleaning property of prepared thin films is evaluated by the photodegradation of Rhodamine B dye. It is observed that the pre-heated substrates show better photoactivity in presence of UV light irradiation. Hence, due to their hydrophilic nature and better photoactivity, these pre-heated thin films deposited by spray pyrolysis can be employed as efficient coatings for self-cleaning glass applications.
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