FeOx-TiO2 Film with Different Microstructures Leading to Femtosecond Transients with Different Properties: Biological Implications under Visible Light
This study presents the first report addressing the effect of FeOx-TiO2 films microstructure on the transients detected by fast spectroscopy related to the long-range bacterial inactivation performance. The different fast kinetic femtosecond transient spectroscopy is reported for each FeOx+TiO2 microstructure. The lifetime of the short transient-species and the oxidative intermediate radicals generated under light were identified. Co-sputtered FeOx-TiO2 on polyethylene films presenting random distribution for both oxides were compared with sequentially sputtered FeOx/TiO2 films made up only by FeOx in the topmost layers. The ratio FeOx: TiO2 was optimized to attain the highest photo-conversion. By X-ray fluorescence, the Fe:Ti ration was found to be similar to 1.4 in the film bulk and by XPS-etching a ratio of 4: 1 was found on the photocatalyst top-most layers. For co-sputtered FeOx-TiO2-PE films, the FeOx-TiO2 heterojunction led to electron injection from the FeOx to lower-lying TiO2 trapping states. The film optical properties, particle size, roughness, hydrophobic-hydrophilic shift and temporal evolution of the transient redox states were characterized in detail. Films with different microstructure led to different antibacterial activity. This suggests that the FeOx-TiO2-PE microstructure and not the position of the potential energy level of the semiconductors FeOx and TiO2 control the charge transfer under light irradiation.