The motivation of using metal oxides is mainly due to its charge storage capabilities, and electrocatalytic, electrochromic and photoelectrochemical properties. But comparing with bulk, nanostructured materials present several advantages related with the spatial conﬁnement, large fraction of surface atoms, high surface energy, strong surface adsorption and increased surface to volume ratio, which greatly improves the performances of these materials. The deposition of this materials can be accomplished by a variety of physical and chemical techniques but nowadays, electrodeposited metal oxides are generally used in both laboratories and industries due to the flexibility to control structure and morphology of the oxide electrodes combined with a reduced cost. Tungsten oxide (WO3) is a well-studied semiconductor and is used for several applications as chromogenic material, sensor and catalyst. The major important features is its low cost and availability, improved stability, easy morphologic and structural control of the nanostructures, reversible change of conductivity, high sensitivity, selectivity and biocompatibility. For the electrodeposition of WO3, more than one method can be adopted: electrodeposition from a precursor solution, anodic oxidation, and electrodeposition of already produced nanoparticles; however, in this case the mechanism of the electrodeposition is not fully understood. In this chapter, a review of the latest published work of electrodeposited nanostructured metal oxides is provided to the reader, with a more detailed explanation of WO3 material applied in sensing devices.
Part of the book: Electroplating of Nanostructures
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
Oxide-based electronics have been well established as an alternative to silicon technology; however, typical processing requires complex, high-vacuum equipment, which is a major drawback, particularly when targeting low-cost applications. The possibility to deposit the materials by low-cost techniques such as inkjet printing has drawn tremendous interest in solution processible materials for electronic applications; however, high processing temperatures still required. To overcome this issue, solution combustion synthesis has been recently pursued. Taking advantage of the exothermic nature of the reaction as a source of energy for localized heating, the precursor solutions can be converted into oxides at lower process temperatures. Theoretically, this can be applied to any metal ions to produce the desired oxide, opening unlimited possibilities to materials’ composition and combinations. Solution combustion synthesis has been applied for the production of semiconductor thin films based on ZnO, In2O3, SnO2 and combinations of these oxides, and also for high κ dielectrics (Al2O3). All of which are required for numerous electronic devices and applications such as fully oxide-based thin-film transistors (TFTs). The properties of produced thin films are highly dependent on the precursor solution characteristics; hence, the influence of several processing parameters; organic fuel, solvent and annealing temperature was studied. Although precursor solution degradation/oxide formation mechanisms are not yet fully understood, particularly for thin films, we demonstrate that high-performance devices are obtained with combustion solution-based metal oxide thin films. The results clearly show that solution combustion synthesis is becoming one of the most promising methods for low-temperature flexible electronics.
Part of the book: Developments in Combustion Technology