Correlating surface processing and wetting characteristics in nano and micro-structured anodized titania for preparing a suitable surface for photocatalytic degradation of pollutants
TiO2 nanostructures have been attracting attention due to their immense potential in gas sensing, photocatalysis, biomedical implants, Li-ion batteries, and solar cells as they can be tuned to have highly active and sensitive surfaces with a large surface area to volume ratio. The functional efficiency of nano-titania can be altered by modifying the bulk and surface structures, which influence the material properties. In recent times, TiO2 has directly been used in photocatalytic degradation of pollutants. TiO2 has emerged as the most commonly used material for photo-induced catalytic reactions among others due to its unique properties, high chemical stability, non-toxicity, robustness, and ease of fabrication and maintenance. In this study, attempts have been made to correlate the surface processing techniques and conditions with the surface wetting and the photocatalytic activity of anodized TiO2. Based on the performance of the surface, a model pollutant will be employed to study the photocatalytic activity by surface flow technique. A freestanding photocatalytic membrane will be attempted and evaluated. The study will help in understanding the relationship between the operational conditions and the resultant surface properties with an intention to achieve the desired functionality. Surface characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, water contact angle and surface energy measurements will be carried out to aid the study.
Keywords: Anodisation, nanostructures, surface energy, superhydrophilicity, TiO2