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Microwave-assisted synthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles: photocatalytic activity of powders and thin films


A simple, rapid, and effective synthesis methodology for the preparation of high-performance TiO2 nanoparticles and thin films by combining colloidal sol-gel and microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthesis was developed. The obtained results indicate that the heating with microwaves at 180 °C for 20 min was enough to synthesize crystalline TiO2 nanoparticles, presenting anatase as a major phase with a crystal size of ~ 7 nm and a specific surface area of 220 m2 g−1. A secondary thermal treatment improved the crystallinity and induced the anatase-to-rutile transformation. The highest photocatalytic activity was found for the as-synthesized powder without any additional thermal treatment. Thin films were also prepared by dip-coating and its high photocatalytic activity showed a kinetic curve comparable to that of a thin film of commercial TiO2 powder prepared under similar conditions.

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The authors thank the resources provided by CAPES under the International Cooperation Program Science without Borders for Special Guest Researcher, PVE (MEC/MCTI/CAPES/CNPQ/FAP/71/2013), Project No. A011/2013.


This work was supported by Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Government of Spain) and FEDER Funds under the Grant No. MAT2015-67586-C3-2-R and CTM2015-69246-R.

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Correspondence to G. S. Falk.

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Falk, G.S., Borlaf, M., López-Muñoz, M.J. et al. Microwave-assisted synthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles: photocatalytic activity of powders and thin films. J Nanopart Res 20, 23 (2018).

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  • TiO2
  • Nanoparticles
  • Microwave synthesis
  • Thin films
  • Photocatalysis