Low temperature crystallisation of mesoporous TiO2
Conducting mesoporous TiO2 is rapidly gaining importance for green energy applications. To optimise performance, its porosity and crystallinity must be carefully fine-tuned. To this end, we have performed a detailed study on the temperature dependence of TiO2 crystallisation in mesoporous films. Crystal nucleation and growth of initially amorphous TiO2 derived by hydrolytic sol-gel chemistry is compared to the evolution of crystallinity from nanocrystalline building blocks obtained from non-hydrolytic solgel chemistry, and mixtures thereof. Our study addresses the question whether the critical temperature for crystal growth can be lowered by the addition of crystalline nucleation seeds.