SPS titania coatings, with applications in water purification, were formed using continuous hydrothermally produced feedstocks for the first time. Coating photoactivity was compared with CVD and P25 analogues.
Titanium dioxide coatings have potential applications including photocatalysts for solar assisted hydrogen production, solar water disinfection and self-cleaning windows. Herein, we report the use of suspension plasma spraying (SPS) for the deposition of conformal titanium dioxide coatings. The process utilises a nanoparticle slurry of TiO 2 ( ca. 6 and 12 nm respectively) in water, which is fed into a high temperature plasma jet ( ca. 7000–20 000 K). This facilitated the deposition of adherent coatings of nanostructured titanium dioxide with predominantly anatase crystal structure. In this study, suspensions of nano-titanium dioxide, made via continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis (CHFS), were used directly as a feedstock for the SPS process. Coatings were produced by varying the feedstock crystallite size, spray distance and plasma conditions. The coatings produced exhibited ca. 90–100% anatase phase content with the remainder being rutile (demonstrated by XRD). Phase distribution was homogenous throughout the coatings as determined by micro-Raman spectroscopy. The coatings had a granular surface, with a high specific surface area and consisted of densely packed agglomerates interspersed with some melted material. All of the coatings were shown to be photoactive by means of a sacrificial hydrogen evolution test under UV radiation and compared favourably with reported values for CVD coatings and compressed discs of P25.