Preparation and characterization of crack-free sol–gel based SiO2–TiO2 hybrid nanoparticle film
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Owing to the diverse potential applications of hybrid silica–titania thin films, the synthesis and characterization of these films have been carried out with a special focus on application as a medium index layer for multilayered functional coatings. For synthesis, tetraethylorthosilicate and titanium tetraisopropoxide were chosen as precursors for the formation of silica-titania hybrid thin films/nano-composites through an in situ sol–gel process. These films were sequentially obtained on Cu substrate utilizing spin coating. The hybrids were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscope, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Field emission scanning electron microscope morphology displayed a smooth, densified and crack- free layer of silica-titania hybrid nanoparticles in the range of 20–71 nm after calcinations at low temperature of 300ºC for 1 h. X-ray diffraction pattern confirms the phases of titania with higher crystallinity and phase transformation at low temperature. The prepared films were uniform with low 8.852 nm RMS value. The stoichiometry of films was confirmed by EDX results. The FTIR spectroscopy indicated the establishment of heterogeneous chemical bonding between the Ti and Si surfaces through oxygen.
KeywordsSol–gel Silica–titania hybrid Crack-free
The authors would like to convey their thanks to Advanced Photonic Science Institute, University Technology Malaysia and Centre of Excellence in Solid State Physics, Punjab University for allowing the research and to be undertaken.
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