Volume 9, Issue 7 e202200081
Research Article

A Simple and Rapid Method of Forming Double-Sided TiO2 Nanotube Arrays

Christian L. Conrad

Christian L. Conrad

Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

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Dr. Welman C. Elias

Dr. Welman C. Elias

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

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Prof. Sergi Garcia-Segura

Prof. Sergi Garcia-Segura

Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287 United States

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Dr. Michael A. Reynolds

Dr. Michael A. Reynolds

Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

Shell Exploration and Production Company, Houston, TX, 77065 United States

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Prof. Michael S. Wong

Corresponding Author

Prof. Michael S. Wong

Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005 United States

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First published: 03 April 2022
Citations: 1

Graphical Abstract

Accelerated growth of TiO2 nanotube arrays: By regulating electrolyte conductivity within a desired region (e. g., ∼800–1000 μS cm−1) through control of bulk electrolyte temperature and the addition of several hydroxy acid species, consistent accelerated growth rates of double-sided TiO2 nanotube arrays (NTAs) were achieved, which were up to 10× faster than traditional methods.

Abstract

Highly ordered TiO2 nanostructures, known as nanotube arrays (NTAs), exhibit potential in various energy, chemical sensing, and biomedical applications. Owing to its simplicity and high degree of control, titanium anodization serves as the prevailing NTA synthesis method. However, the practicality of this approach is marred by sluggish and inconsistent growth rates, on the order of 10 nm min−1. Growth rates strongly depend on the electrolyte conductivity, yet most reports neglect to consider this property as a measured and controllable parameter. Here, we have systematically determined a broad set of conditions (at 60 V applied potential, elevated temperatures) that allow researchers to fabricate NTAs quickly and simply. By modulating conductivity through variation of bulk electrolyte temperature and the controlled addition of several hydroxy acid species, we achieve consistent accelerated growth up to 10 times faster than traditional methods. We find that regulating the solution conductivity within a desired region (e. g., ∼800–1000 μS cm−1) enabled the fabrication of double-sided NTA layers of around 10 μm and 90 μm NTA in 10 and 180 min, respectively.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available in the supplementary material of this article.