Published: CABEQ 17 (3) (2003) 183–190
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Titania Thin Films and Supported Nanostructured Membranes Prepared by the Surfactant Assisted Sol-Gel Method

J. Pavlíček, P. Kacera, T. Cajthaml and M. Kalaji

Thin TiO2 nanoparticulate layers were produced by a dip coating of quartz, boron- silicate wafers and of plastic foils. The coating solution was prepared by the sol-gel method in the reverse micelle environment to favour the polycondensation. Reverse micelles of a non-ionic surfactant Triton X-100 in cyclohexane were used as the template. The molar ratio water/surfactant was kept low (r = 1). At this ratio water molecules were associated only with terminal groups of the hydrophilic chains in the micelle aggregate. Polymeric precursor layers were thermally treated to obtain the desired thin films of anatase. Direct thermal decomposition of the organic content was replaced by supercritical fluid extraction followed by the thermal treatment. The data showed that supercritical fluid extraction considerably reduced the organic carbon content and provided a surface structure closely similar to that of anatase. A similar procedure was used to obtain a titania membrane supported on a plankton based silica matrix.

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Titanium oxide, nanostructures, surfactant templating, thin films, micro-membrane, photocatalysis, solar-cells