For the first time a combination of microwaves and/or the conventional treatment method was used to dry and heat multilayered sol-gel ZnO/TiO2/glass structures. Compact or porous TiO2 films were deposited as a bottom layer, covered with a ZnO film. The structures were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Only peaks of wurtzite ZnO crystalline phase were registered on the X-Ray diffractograms. The microwave irradiation leads to a formation of poorly crystallized multilayers with very small crystallites and enhanced surface roughness. This results in a better photocatalytic activity of these structures than the structures of the samples treated conventionally. It was established that the morphology of the bottom titania layer affects the reaction of photocatalytic degradation of Malachite Green dye (MG). The structures with the compact bottom TiO2 films showed higher activities than those on porous TiO2 films. This study offers an energy saving method of producing ZnO/TiO2/glass multilayered structures of various morphologies and pronounced photocatalytic properties. The method does not involve any calcination step, normally applied to achieve a good degree of crystallization. This makes the method suitable for protecting substrates of low thermal stability.
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