While there is continuous progress in development of new photocatalytic thin films and coatings, the lack of a reliable and standard procedure for measuring the photocatalytic performance of such active surfaces makes it difficult to compare results between research groups and different measurement setups. Here, a comparative study was carried out to demonstrate the high photocatalytic activity of sputter-deposited TiO2 film with self-organized nanocrack networks by using two different analytical approaches: (i) bleaching of a thin Methylene Blue (MB) solid layer on photocatalytic TiO2 thin film (in-air) and (ii) the decolorization of a MB aqueous solution in the presence of TiO2 thin film (in-solution). While the decolorization of aqueous MB solution provides an indirect observation of the photocatalytic effect imposed by the TiO2 film, the use of a solid MB layer as an indicator allows monitoring of photocatalytic reactions at the solid-air interface directly. We showed the applicability of this approach as a complementary and a fast analysis method to reveal the photocatalytic efficiency of thin films by comparing it with the state of the art inks (based on MB and other similar organic dyes) used as photocatalysis indicator.
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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