Tailoring the Ti surface via electropolishing nanopatterning as a route to obtain highly ordered TiO2 nanotubes

Nanotechnology. 2014 Dec 5;25(48):485301. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/25/48/485301. Epub 2014 Nov 7.


Highly ordered TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) were synthesized by the electrochemical anodization of Ti foils subjected to electropolishing (EP) pre-treatment. We found that the Ti surface roughness plays an important role in the onset of pore nucleation in enhancing the local focusing effect of the electrical field. Additionally, EP induces the formation of dimple structures on the metal surface, which can work as a pre-pattern prior to anodization. These shallow ripples lead to a preferentially ordered pore nucleation, offering an organizational improvement of the anodic oxide NTs. We found that, depending on the EP applied potential, the roughness and the spatial period of the ripple-like structures varies from 8-2 nm and from 122-30 nm, respectively. Such tuning allowed us to focus on the influence of the initial Ti pre-surface topography features on the NTs' length, organization, and hexagonal arrangement quality, as well as diameter and density. Our results show that an EP under 10 V is the most suitable to obtain a small Ti surface roughness, the largest NT length (40% enhancement), and the effective improvement of the ordered hexagonal NTs' arrays over larger areas. Furthermore, the NTs' dimensions (pore diameters and density) were also found to depend on the initial Ti surface topography. The use of optimized EP allows us to obtain highly hexagonal self-ordered samples at a reduced time and cost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't