Optical Characterization of Photocatalytic Copper Doped Thin Films of Anodized Titanium
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Titanium oxide is used in a myriad of applications such as in capacitors, insulation paints among others. It is a prime candidate for water splitting due to its photocatalytic properties. In this work, undoped TiO2 thin films were prepared by anodizing titanium foils cut into pieces measuring 60 mm by 20 mm. The specimens were anodized in an electrolyte consisting of 0.5 M H2SO4 and 0.075% wt HF at room temperature. The anodizing voltages ranged from 50 V to 100 V. Anion doping of copper in as anodized TiO2was done electrochemically. The as anodized Ti foils were dipped in a 1 M Cu2SO4 solution. All samples were annealed at 450 °C for 3 h. Near-normal total reflectance was measured on as anodized and copper pigmented samples in the solar(300–2500 nm)wavelength range. Spectrophotometric reflectance data was analyzed to obtain the absorption coefficient and using the same to determine the band gap of the films. It was noted that the films exhibited reduced solar integrated reflectance for TiO2 samples prepared at lower anodic voltages of 50, 60 and 70 V. The copper pigmented, and annealed, TiO2 samples exhibited both direct and indirect energy band gaps in the ranges, 3.38–3.86 and 2.50–2.74, respectively. Further, annealing and copper doping of the films lead to increased absorption. The photocatalytic activity of the films was assessed by measuring the rate of degradation of 10ppm methylene blue in UV light source. Copper doped TiO2 exhibited enhanced photocatalytic performance in compared to pure TiO2. An increase in the anodization voltage caused subsequent increase in photocatalytic activity of films with 70 V as the optimum voltage above which photo degradation of methylene blue decreased.