Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology

Effect of Liquid Feed-Stock Composition on the Morphology of Titanium Dioxide Films Deposited by Thermal Plasma Spray.

PMID 26716224


Titanium dioxide coatings were deposited on the surface of titanium foils by Thermal Plasma Spray (TPS) process. Three different TiO2 coatings were prepared using the commercial TiO2-P25 nanopowder and titanium isopropoxide precursor solution as feed-stocks. Structure and morphology of the TiO2-P25 powder and the plasma sprayed coatings were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms, UV-visible spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). XRD and Raman results indicate that the TiO2 coatings were composed of an anatase/rutile mixture that is conditioned by the suspension composition used to be sprayed. Coatings prepared from TiO2-P25 nanoparticles in water suspension (NW-P25) and titanium isopropoxide solution suspension (NSP-P25) are incorporated into the coatings without phase transformation and their anatase/rutile ratio percentage remains very similar to the starting TiO2-P25 powder. On the contrary, when titanium isopropoxide solution is used for spraying (SP), the amount of rutile increases in the final TiO2 coating. SEM analysis also reveals different microstructure morphology, coating thickness, density and porosity of the three TiO2 films that depend significantly on the type of feed-stock employed. Interestingly, we have observed the role of titanium isopropoxide in the formation of more porous and cohesive layers of TiO2. The NSP-P25 coating, prepared with a mix of titanium isopropoxide solution based on TiO2 nanoparticles, presents higher deposition efficiencies and higher coating thickness than the film prepared with nanoparticles suspended in water (NW-P25) or with titanium isopropoxide solutions (SP). This is due to the precursor solution is acting as the cement between TiO2 nanoparticles, improving the cohesive strength of the coating. In sum, NSP-P25 and NW-P25 coatings display a good photocatalytic potential, based on their light absorption properties and mechanical stability. Band gap of the nanoparticulated coatings displays a light absorption at wavelengths below 379 and 399 nm for NW-P25 and NSP-P25 respectively. On the contrary, the SP coating, despite to present lower band-gap value, has bad cohesive properties with surface crackings that makes it mechanically unstable. Therefore, mixtures of P25 nanoparticles with titanium isopropoxide as feed-stock materials can produce promising photocatalytic coatings.