Tuning the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanoparticles by ultrathin SiO2 films grown by low-temperature atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition

Jing Guo, Dominik Benz, Thao Trang Doan Nguyen, Phuc Huy Nguyen, Thanh Lieu Thi Le, Hoai Hue Nguyen, Damiano La Zara, Bin Liang, Hubertus T.(Bert) Hintzen, J. Ruud van Ommen, Hao Van Bui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We employed atomic layer deposition (ALD) to deposit ultrathin SiO2 layers on P25 TiO2 nanoparticles to fabricate TiO2/SiO2 core/shell nanostructures. The ALD process was carried out in a fluidized bed reactor working at atmospheric pressure using SiCl4 and H2O as precursors, enabling the deposition of SiO2 at 100 °C with the ability to control the thickness at the sub-nanometer level. By controlling the thickness of the SiO2 in a very narrow range, i.e., below 2 nm, the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 can be tuned. In particular, an enhancement was obtained for the SiO2 layers with a thickness below 1.4 nm, in which the layer with a thickness of about 0.7 nm exhibited the highest photocatalytic activity; for SiO2 layers thicker than 1.4 nm, the photocatalytic activity was strongly suppressed. The photocatalytic activity enhancement and the degradation mechanism of RhB by the TiO2/SiO2 photocatalysts were investigated by combining X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV–Vis absorption spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy and the aid of charge carrier and radical scavengers. Our findings have revealed an improvement of photogenerated charge separation due to the SiO2 coating and the dominating role of hydroxyl radicals in the degradation of RhB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147244
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition
  • Fluidized bed reactor
  • Low-temperature deposition
  • Photocatalysts
  • TiO/SiO core/shell nanoparticles
  • Ultrathin SiO coating


Dive into the research topics of 'Tuning the photocatalytic activity of TiO<sub>2</sub> nanoparticles by ultrathin SiO<sub>2</sub> films grown by low-temperature atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this