Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 135-142

First online:

Photoactivity passivation of TiO2 nanoparticles using molecular layer deposited (MLD) polymer films

  • Xinhua LiangAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado
  • , Alan W. WeimerAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Email author 

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Pigment-grade anatase TiO2 particles (160 nm) were passivated using ultra-thin insulating films deposited by molecular layer deposition (MLD). Trimethylaluminum (TMA) and ethylene glycol (E.G) were used as aluminum alkoxide (alucone) precursors in the temperature range of 100–160 °C. The growth rate varied from 0.5 nm/cycle at 100 °C to 0.35 nm/cycle at 160 °C. Methylene blue oxidation tests indicated that the photoactivity of pigment-grade TiO2 particles was quenched after 20 cycles of alucone MLD film, which was comparable to 70 cycles of Al2O3 film deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD). Alucone films would decompose in the presence of water at room temperature and would form a more stable composite containing aluminum, which decreased the passivation effect on the photoactivity of TiO2 particles.


TiO2 Photoactivity Molecular layer deposition (MLD) Aluminum alkoxide (alucone) Pigments