Electric Field Assisted Chemical Vapour Deposition Processes on Titanium Dioxide Thin Films for Photocatalysis.
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This work investigates the use of the novel electric field assisted chemical vapour deposition (EACVD) process in the production of titanium dioxide thin films for photocatalytic applications on glass substrate. This work looks into the interaction of applied electric fields with the precursor species during the aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD) and atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD) reaction of Titanium isopropoxide (TTIP) and Titanium (IV) Chloride (TiCl4) with different solvents. The electric field was generated by applying a potential difference between two fluorine-doped tin oxide glass sheets. The electric field was varied between 0 – 3000 Vm-1. The deposited films were analysed and characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy, water-contact angles and resazurin photcatalytic testing. It was observed that the application of electric fields produced changes in the morphology, particle size, growth rate, crystal orientation and crystal phases. Generally, films produced under the influence of the electric fields showed higher photo-activity than films produced in absence of electric fields. The deposited films produced from the electric field assisted aerosol chemical vapour deposition (EAACVD) showed higher photo-activity with applied AC electric fields than with applied DC electric fields. Likewise, they showed higher photo-activity than the deposited films produced from the electric field assisted atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (EAAPCVD) with applied AC electric fields. The results obtained were explained by the interaction mechanisms between the electric fields and the precursor species, which differ depending on the CVD technique used. Although titanium dioxide photo-activity is comprised by a combination of factors, it was observed that an optimum can be obtained by varying both experimental conditions and field strength. In particular, optimum results were obtained for deposited films which showed long-shaped particles, reduced particle size and high preferential orientation in the anatase (004) plane. Electric field assisted chemical vapour deposition (EACVD) shows a great potential for the improvement of commercial products available in the market such as self-cleaning and antibacterial surfaces.
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