Black TiO2 thin films production using hollow cathode hydrogen plasma treatment: Synthesis, material characteristics and photocatalytic activity

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Junior A.G.
Pereira A.
Gomes M.
Fraga M.
Pessoa R.
Leite D.
Petraconi G.
Nogueira A.
Wender H.
Miyakawa W.
Massi M.
Sobrinho A.D.S.
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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Black TiO2 materials have been quite widely explored due to their large solar absorption and superior photocatalytic activity. In this paper, the blackening process of titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin film using the hollow cathode hydrogen plasma (HCHP) technique is reported. First, pristine anatase TiO2 films were grown by magnetron sputtering onto silicon and cover glass substrates and then annealed at 450◦C for 2 h. Then, the as-grown TiO2 films were treated with HCHP for 15 min. The physical, chemical and morphological properties of the films were analyzed by profilometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis spectrophotometry, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques. Electrical and photocatalytic measurements were performed by four-point probe and methylene blue UV degradation assays, respectively. The results showed that the black TiO2 film is highly absorbent in the UV-visible region, has low electrical resistance and greater surface area compared to the non-treated TiO2 film. These properties of black TiO2 film, as well as its performance as a photocatalytic agent, were investigated, indicating the superior quality of this material in thin film form and the promising potential of the HCHP treatment to produce hydrogenated TiO2 in short process time.
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