A process based on reactive gas flow sputtering (GFS) for depositing visible-light active photocatalytic WO3 films at high deposition rates and with high film quality was successfully demonstrated. The deposition rate for this process was over 10 times higher than that achieved by the conventional sputtering process and the process was highly stable. Furthermore, Pt nanoparticle-loaded WO3 films deposited by the GFS process exhibited much higher photocatalytic activity than those deposited by conventional sputtering, where the photocatalytic activity was evaluated by the extent of decomposition of CH3CHO under visible light irradiation. The decomposition time for 60 ppm of CH3CHO was 7.5 times more rapid on the films deposited by the GFS process than on the films deposited by the conventional process. During GFS deposition, there are no high-energy particles bombarding the growing film surface, whereas the bombardment of the surface with high-energy particles is a key feature of conventional sputtering. Hence, the WO3 films deposited by GFS should be of higher quality, with fewer structural defects, which would lead to a decrease in the number of centers for electron-hole recombination and to the efficient use of photogenerated holes for the decomposition of CH3CHO.
ASJC Scopus subject areas