Affiliation: School of Engineering, Mawson Institute, University of South Australia 160 Currie Street GPO Box 2471, South Australia, 5000 Adelaide, Australia.
In this article, patents and literature about the synthesis and potential applications of titania nanotubes for photocatalytic and photovoltaic devices are presented. Oxidation of water by titania thin films was reported in 1972 for the first time. In the following years, titania nanoparticles, nanorods and nanotubes have been intensively studied for this and other potential applications. Potential applications for photochemical oxidation of water are in the areas of water treatment for removing organic contaminants and microorganisms and hydrogen production. Other exciting potential applications of titania nanotubes are in the generation of electric energy in solar cells, electric charge storage, and in coatings for endoprosthesis. The considerably higher surface area of titania nanotubes compared with nanorods and nanoparticles of the same size significantly increases the efficiency of devices based on titania nanotubes, especially for surface controlled applications such as water oxidation and solar power generation.