The transparent TiO2 thin films coated on fused-SiO2 substrates were prepared by the sol–gel method and spin-coating technique. Effects of calcination temperature on crystal structure, grain size, surface texture, and light transmittance of the films were investigated. After calcining at 600–1,200 °C, the thicknesses of the TiO2 films were all around 80 nm and the molecular structures of the films were anatase, even at 1,200 °C. The calcined TiO2 films had the ultraviolet light (wavelength 200–400 nm) transmittances of ≦29% and the visible light (wavelength 400–800 nm) transmittance of ≧72%. By photocatalytically decomposing the methylene blue (MB) in water, the photocatalytic activities of the TiO2 thin films were measured and represented using the characteristic time constant (τ) for the MB degradation. While the films prepared at 1,000 and 1,200 °C photodecomposed about 54 mol% of the MB in water (the corresponding τ ≈ 14.8 h) after exposing to 365-nm UV light for 12 h, the films prepared at 600 and 800 °C had smaller s (≈ 9.0 h) and photodecomposed about 74 mol% of the MB in water at the same testing conditions.
Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 52(1), pp.158-165