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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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A comprehensive aerosol spray method for the rapid photocatalytic grid area analysis of semiconductor photocatalyst thin films

Mills, A. (2010) A comprehensive aerosol spray method for the rapid photocatalytic grid area analysis of semiconductor photocatalyst thin films. Analytica Chimica Acta, 663. pp. 69-76. ISSN 0003-2670

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Abstract

Indicator inks, previously shown to be capable of rapidly assessing photocatalytic activity via a novel photo-reductive mechanism, were simply applied via an aerosol spray onto commercially available pieces of ActivTM self-cleaning glass. Ink layers could be applied with high evenness of spread, with as little deviation as 5% upon UV-visible spectroscopic assessment of 25 equally distributed positions over a 10cm×10cm glass cut. The inks were comprised of either a resazurin (Rz) or dichloroindophenol (DCIP) redox dye with a glycerol sacrificial electron donor in an aqueous hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) polymer media. The photo-reduction reaction under UVA light of a single spot was monitored by UV-vis spectroscopy and digital images attained from a flat-bed scanner in tandem for both inks. The photo-reduction of Rz ink underwent a two-step kinetic process, whereby the blue redox dye was initially reduced to a pink intermediate resorufin (Rf) and subsequently reduced to a bleached form of the dye. In contrast, a simple one-step kinetic process was observed for the reduction of the light blue redox dye DCIP to its bleached intermediates. Changes in red-green-blue colour extracted from digital images of the inks were inversely proportional to the changes seen at corresponding wavelengths via UV-visible absorption spectroscopy and wholly indicative of the reaction kinetics. The photocatalytic activity areas of cuts of ActivTM glass, 10cm×10cm in size, were assessed using both Rz and DCIP indicator inks evenly sprayed over the films; firstly using UVA lamp light to activate the underlying ActivTM film (1.75mWcm−2) and secondly under solar conditions (2.06±0.14mWcm−2). The photo-reduction reactions were monitored solely by flatbed digital scanning. Red-green-blue values of a generated 14×14 grid (196 positions) that covered the entire area of each film image were extracted using a custom-built program entitled RGB Extractor(C). A homogenous degradation over the 196 positions analysed for both Rz (Red colour deviation = 19% UVA, 8% Solar; Green colour deviation = 17% UVA, 12% Solar) and DCIP (Red colour deviation = 22% UVA, 16% Solar) inks was seen in both UVA and solar experiments, demonstrating the consistency of the selfcleaning titania layer on ActivTM. The method presented provides a good solution for the high-throughput photocatalytic screening of a number of homogenous photocatalytically active materials simultaneously or numerous positions on a single film; both useful in assessing the homogeneity of a film or determining the best combination of reaction components to produce the optimum performance photocatalytic film.