Electrochemical synthesis of self-organized TiO2 crystalline nanotubes without annealing

L. Giorgi, T. Dikonimos, R. Giorgi, F. Buonocore, G. Faggio, G. Messina, N. Lisi
Parole chiave (Tematica)
crystalline materials electrolytes nanotubes
Data pubblicazione
vol. 29, n. 9, art. 095604

This work demonstrates that upon anodic polarization in an aqueous fluoride-containing electrolyte, TiO2nanotube array films can be formed with a well-defined crystalline phase, rather than an amorphous one. The crystalline phase was obtained avoiding any high temperature annealing. We studied the formation of nanotubes in an HF/H2O medium and the development of crystalline grains on the nanotube wall, and we found a facile way to achieve crystalline TiO2nanotube arrays through a one-step anodization. The crystallinity of the film was influenced by the synthesis parameters, and the optimization of the electrolyte composition and anodization conditions (applied voltage and time) were carried out. For comparison purposes, crystalline anatase TiO2nanotubes were also prepared by thermal treatment of amorphous nanotubes grown in an organic bath (ethylene glycol/NH4F/H2O). The morphology and the crystallinity of the nanotubes were studied by field emission gun-scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM) and Raman spectroscopy, whereas the electrochemical and semiconducting properties were analyzed by means of linear sweep voltammetry, impedance spectroscopy, and Mott-Schottky plots. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) allowed us to determine the surface composition and the electronic structure of the samples and to correlate them with the electrochemical data. The optimal conditions to achieve a crystalline phase with high donor concentration are defined.