Transparent thin films of Cu–TiO2 with visible light photocatalytic activity
Thin films of Cu–TiO2 with a high level of transparency were prepared by a dip-coating procedure on the glass surface. CuCl2 was used as a copper precursor added during sol–gel synthesis of TiO2. The extension of optical absorption into the visible region of as-prepared thin films was indicated by UV/Vis spectroscopy. Only the anatase phase was detected by X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD). The presence of copper in the structure of thin films was confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS). The significant rate of phenol and 4-chlorophenol mineralization was observed during visible light irradiation. The photocatalytic activity of the prepared thin films is correlated with the optimum copper content in the structure. Copper in metallic form and cupric oxides were not detected by XRD and scanning electron microscopy analysis. It is suggested that copper may exist as dispersed ions in the TiO2 lattice.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis - environmental applications