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Comparison of photocatalytic properties of TiO2 thin films and fibers
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Efficiency of solar panels degrades as a result of organic contamination such as airborne particles, bird droppings and leaves. Any foreign object on photovoltaic panels reduces the sunlight entering the absorbing surface of the solar panels. Since this leads to a major problem decreasing in energy production, solar panels should be cleaned. The self-cleaning method can be preferred. There are some methods to clean the surface of solar panels. Among the self-cleaning materials, TiO2 is the most preferable ones because of its powerful photocatalytic properties. In this study, photocatalytic TiO2 were produced in two different nanostructures: nanofibers and thin films. TiO2 nanofibers were successfully produced by electrospinning. TiO2 thin films were fabricated by reactive magnetron sputtering technique. Both TiO2 nanofiber and thin film structures were heat-treated to form TiO2 in anatase phase at 600 °C for 2 h in air. Then, they were evaluated by SEM analyses for morphology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses for phase structures, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for the chemical state and atomic concentration, and UV-spectrometer for photocatalytic performance. The results indicate that photocatalytic and transmittance properties of TiO2 thin films are better than those of nanofibers. Consequently, TiO2 based thin films exhibit better performance for solar cell applications due to the surface cleanliness.