Synthesis and photoluminescence of titania nanoparticle arrays templated by block-copolymer thin films

Zaicheng Sun, Ha Kim Dong, Markus Wolkenhauer, Gabriela Gina Bumbu, Wolfgang Knoll, Jochen S. Gutmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


High-density arrays of titania nanopartides were prepared using a polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) block copolymer (PS-b-PEO) as a template and a titanium tetraisopropoxide based sol-gel precursor as titania source via a spin-coating method. The hydrophilic titania sol-gel precursor was selectively incorporated into hydrophilic PEO domains of PS-b-PEO and form titania nanoparticle arrays, due to a microphase separation between the PS block and the sol-gel/PEO phase. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and scanning probe microscopy (SPM) images showed that the uniformity and long-range order of the titania/PEO domains improved with increasing sol-gel precursor amount. Grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) results indicate that the ordered structures exist over large length scales. Titania nanocrystal arrays of anatase modification were obtained by calcination at 600°C for 4 h. After calcination, separated particles were observed for low and medium amounts of sol-gel precursors. Films with higher precursor amounts showed wormlike structures due to the aggregation between neighboring particles. Removal of the polymer matrix via UV treatment leads to highly ordered arrays of amorphous titania while retaining the domain size and interparticle distance initially present in the hybrid films. Photoluminescence (PL) properties were investigated for samples before and after calcination. The PL intensity increases with the increasing amount of sol-gel precursor. Bands at 412nm were ascribed to self-trapped exitons and bands at 461 and 502 nm to oxygen vacancies, respectively. Uncalcined or UV-treated samples also showed PL properties similar to calcined samples, indicating that the local environment of the titanium atoms is similar to the environment of the crystalline anatase modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-378
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2006


  • Organic-inorganic hybrid
  • Photophysics
  • Polymers
  • Sol-gel processes
  • Thin films


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis and photoluminescence of titania nanoparticle arrays templated by block-copolymer thin films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this