Thin TiO2 films were prepared by DC magnetron reactive sputtering at different oxygen partial pressures. Depending on the oxygen partial pressure during sputtering, a transition from metallic Ti to TiO2 was identified by spectroscopic ellipsometry. The crystalline nature of the film developed during a subsequent annealing step, resulting in thin anatase TiO2 layers, displaying photocatalytic activity. The intrinsic photocatalytic activity of the catalysts was evaluated for the degradation of methylene blue (MB) using a microfluidic reactor. A numerical model was employed to extract the intrinsic reaction rate constants. High conversion rates (90% degradation within 20 s residence time) were observed within these microreactors because of the efficient mass transport and light distribution. To evaluate the intrinsic reaction kinetics, we argue that mass transport has to be accounted for. The obtained surface reaction rate constants demonstrate very high reactivity for the sputtered TiO2 films. Only for the thinnest film, 9 nm, slightly lower kinetics were observed.
Rafieian Boroujeni, D., Driessen, R. T., Ogieglo, W., & Lammertink, R. G. H. (2015). Intrinsic Photocatalytic Assessment of Reactively Sputtered TiO2 Films. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 7(16), 8727-8732. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.5b01047