Week #2: TiO2 Control Experiments

This second week of research, I have been continuing with control experiments. I have been working to confirm whether our slides are truly coated with a TiO2 film under scans of our samples. We have been looking at Eosin-Y dye on TiO2 films, but still need to ensure that the scans we are taking are indicative of EY on TiO2 rather than just plain glass. To accomplish this, I prepared a new aliquot of TiO2 from the original bottle. I then used this aliquot to prepare a batch of TiO2 and blank glass for sintering in the oven. The TiO2 is spincoated onto base bathed glass slides. We then sinter the batch of slides in a muffle furnace to rid the slides of impurities. With this, we take the slides and then spincoat our desired dye, in our case, EY onto the slides. This was done with EY at 1×10^-6M concentration, a high enough concentration for us to notice a significant difference between EY on glass and EY on TiO2. With this, we expect to have a consistent method to confirm whether our batches have TiO2 on them. As far as differences in the scans of EY on glass vs. TiO2, we expect to see less fluorescence and decreased photon counts with the TiO2, as it is a metal substrate that offers an alternative pathway, for the electrons to transfer onto the TiO2 substrate.

It is important to note that I also did some power measurements of the laser, to obtain an updated power chart, with the inclusion of settings for the waveplate and ND filters. In addition to continuing scans of EY on TiO2, I have also taken scans of Rose Bengal dye nanoparticles to get an idea whether these nanoparticles can be seen under our current confocal microscope and laser setup. These nanostructures have the capability to possibly enhance photophysical events and improve dye sensitized photocatalytic systems as a whole, but must be looked at in further detail.