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Photo-induced changes in the Langmuir adsorption constants of metal oxide layers in self-cleaning cation sensors.

  • Philip S. Foran (a1) and Colin Boxall (a1)


For the first time, we have used a metal oxide-coated quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) to measure Cs+ adsorption onto illuminated and un-illuminated mesoporous TiO2 (m-TiO2) films by microgravimetric means in-situ. In the simplest case, such experiments yield two parameters of interest: K, the Langmuir adsorption coefficient and m max the maximum mass of adsorbate to form a complete monolayer at the m-TiO2-coated quartz crystal piezoelectric surface. Importantly, we have found that illumination of the m-TiO2 film with ultra bandgap light results in an increase in m max i.e. illumination allows for greater adsorption of substrate to occur than in the dark. Our studies also show that under illumination, K also increases indicating a higher affinity for surface adsorption. The photoinduced change in m max and K are thought to be due to an increase in surface bound titanol groups, thus increasing the number of available adsorption sites – and so providing evidence to support the notion of photoinduced adsorption processes in photocatalytic systems. These findings have implications for the development of a reversible adsorption based microgravimetric sensor for Cs+.



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