Photoactive TiO2/CuxO composite films for photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue pollutant molecules

Harin Yoo, Jung Hyeun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Applying photocatalysts for utilizing solar energy is attractive because of its clean and limitless characteristics, but they have giant obstacles such as wide bandgaps, photocorrosion, and rapid charge recombinations to overcome for applications. In this study, the TiO2/CuxO composite films are investigated as photoactive materials for the photodegradation ofmethylene blue (MB) pollutant molecules under standard sun light illumination. The TiO2 layer is firstly fabricated on the FTO substrate by a doctor blade method, and then the second copper component is introduced by a spin-coating. Then, the composite films are thermally sintered to form cuprous and cupric oxides. This additional copper oxide phases plays a crucial role in achieving high photodegradation performance of MB under light irradiation. The best MB photodegradability from the TiO2/CuxO composite films was achieved with the 3.6 wt% CuxO content case, and it is probably due to the effective charge separations with reduced recombinations in the copper oxide phases by the Z-scheme band arrangements between Cu2O and CuO components. The composite films were characterized with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV–visible spectroscopy for the film surface and cross-sectional morphology, crystalline structure, atomic binding energy, and light absorbance, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1293
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Powder Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Copper oxide
  • Photocatalyst
  • Photodecomposition
  • Titanium oxide


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