Characterisation of the photocatalyst Pilkington Activ (TM): a reference film photocatalyst?

Mills, Andrew and Lepre, Anne and Elliott, Nicholas and Bhopal, Sharan and Parkin, Ivan P. and O'Neill, S.A. (2003) Characterisation of the photocatalyst Pilkington Activ (TM): a reference film photocatalyst? Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 160 (3). pp. 213-224. ISSN 1010-6030 (

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Pilkington Glass Activ™ represents a possible suitable successor to P25 TiO2, especially as a benchmark photocatalyst film for comparing other photocatalyst or PSH self-cleaning films. Activ™ is a glass product with a clear, colourless, effectively invisible, photocatalytic coating of titania that also exhibits PSH. Although not as active as a film of P25 TiO2, Activ™ vastly superior mechanical stability, very reproducible activity and widespread commercial availability makes it highly attractive as a reference photocatalytic film. The photocatalytic and photo-induced superhydrophilitic (PSH) properties of Activ™ are studied in some detail and the results reported. Thus, the kinetics of stearic acid destruction (a 104 electron process) are zero order over the stearic acid range 4-129 monolayers and exhibit formal quantum efficiencies (FQE) of 0.7×10−5 and 10.2×10−5 molecules per photon when irradiated with light of 365±20 and 254 nm, respectively; the latter appears also to be the quantum yield for Activ™ at 254 nm. The kinetics of stearic acid destruction exhibit Langmuir-Hinshelwood-like saturation type kinetics as a function of oxygen partial pressure, with no destruction occurring in the absence of oxygen and the rate of destruction appearing the same in air and oxygen atmospheres. Further kinetic work revealed a Langmuir adsorption type constant for oxygen of 0.45±0.16 kPa−1 and an activation energy of 19±1 kJ mol−1. A study of the PSH properties of Activ™ reveals a high water contact angle (67°) before ultra-bandgap irradiation reduced to 0° after prolonged irradiation. The kinetics of PSH are similar to those reported by others for sol-gel films using a low level of UV light. The kinetics of contact angle recovery in the dark appear monophasic and different to the biphasic kinetics reported recently by others for sol-gel films [J. Phys. Chem. B 107 (2003) 1028]. Overall, Activ™ appears a very suitable reference material for semiconductor film photocatalysis.