Strain analysis of photocatalytic TiO2 thin films on polymer substrates



Publication Details

Tavares, C. J., Marques, S. M., Lanceros-Méndez, S., Sencadas, V., Teixeira, V., Carneiro, J. O., Martins, A. J. & Fernandes, A. J. (2008). Strain analysis of photocatalytic TiO2 thin films on polymer substrates. Thin Solid Films, 516 (7), 1434-1438.


Titania (TiO2) thin films have been deposited on polymer sheets by magnetron sputtering at room temperature. Previous X-ray diffraction experiments revealed, for a wide range of deposition parameters, that the as-deposited titania thin films are predominantly amorphous; however, Raman scattering experiments revealed small traces of crystalline phases. The photocatalytic behaviour of the titania coatings was determined by combined ultra-violet (UV) irradiation and absorption measurements of a chosen dye (pollutants) in the presence of this catalyst. In order to assess the mechanical behaviour of the as-sputtered films, the film/substrate composite system was loaded unidirectionally using a tensile testing machine. As the system was stretched, cracks transverse to the loading direction developed in the film. The number of cracks increased as the applied strain increased, thus the relation between the measured crack density and the applied strain has been used to characterize the film strength and has also been correlated with the film photocatalytic efficiency. As a result of moderate fissuring on the titania film, it was found that for strain deformations up to 5% the photocatalytic activity is enhanced due to the exposure of more catalyst surface area for the pollutant to be adsorbed and subsequently dissociated upon UV illumination

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