The use of metal-oxide-semiconductor nanostructures as photocatalytic materials has been an area of intense research over the last decade, and in this field, titanium dioxide (TiO2) receives much attention. TiO2 is an attractive material since it is stable, insoluble, non-toxic, resistant to corrosion and relatively inexpensive. In this chapter, we will demonstrate the influence of different solvents on the synthesis of TiO2 nanostructures considering a solvothermal method assisted by microwave radiation and their photocatalytic behaviour. The TiO2 nanostructured arrays were synthesized on seeded polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrates with different solvents: water, 2 – propanol, ethanol and methanol. TiO2 thin films deposited by spin-coating were used as seed layer for the nanostructures growth. Structural characterization of the microwave synthesized materials has been carried out by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-Ray diffraction (XRD). The optical properties have also been investigated. The TiO2 nanostructures arrays were tested as photocatalytic agents in the degradation of pollutant dyes like methylene blue (MB) in the presence of UV radiation. Expressive differences between the different solvents were detected, in which methanol demonstrated higher MB degradation for the conditions tested.
Part of the book: Semiconductor Photocatalysis