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Fabrication and photocatalytic behavior of titanium oxide–gold nanoparticles composite ultrathin films prepared using surface sol–gel process

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Ultrathin films consisting of titanium oxide and gold nanoparticles were prepared using a combination of the surface sol–gel process and liquid/liquid interfacial precipitation. The composite films had a titanium oxide/gold nanoparticle layer/titanium oxide film structure, comprising a gold nanoparticle thin-film layer sandwiched within titanium oxide films of nanometer-order thickness. Upon heating the titanium oxide–gold nanoparticle composite films to 450 °C, they underwent a phase change from the amorphous to the anatase phase, which was confirmed via Raman scattering analysis. It was observed that, even after heating, the plasmonic absorption band due to the presence of gold nanoparticles was maintained in the composite films. The photocatalytic degradation efficiencies of methylene blue dye were evaluated in films under 520 nm light irradiation. The results suggested that the sandwich-like structure of this titanium oxide/gold nanoparticle layer/titanium oxide is promising for the visible-light-induced degradation of methylene blue dye.


  • A series of titanium oxide–gold nanoparticle composite thin films with nanometer thickness were prepared.

  • Formation of anatase titanium oxide ultrathin film was confirmed by Raman scattering analysis.

  • Sandwich-like structured titanium oxide/gold nanoparticle layer/titanium oxide composite ultrathin films is promising for the visible-light-driven photocatalyst.

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This work is partially supported by the “Joint Usage/Research Program on Zero-Emission Energy Research,” Institute of Advanced Energy, Kyoto University (ZE29A-22, ZE30A-21, and ZE31A-26).

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Correspondence to Tsuyoshi Akiyama.

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Mitsukawa, S., Akiyama, T., Hinoue, M. et al. Fabrication and photocatalytic behavior of titanium oxide–gold nanoparticles composite ultrathin films prepared using surface sol–gel process. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol (2020) doi:10.1007/s10971-019-05214-w

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  • Gold nanoparticle
  • Plasmon
  • Titanium oxide
  • Surface sol–gel process
  • Photocatalyst