Use of Electroless Plating Copper Thin Films for Catalysis
Recently, it was demonstrated that copper thin films show good adsorption characteristics for organic polar and non-polar compounds. Also, these films when used in small cavities can favor preconcentration of these organic compounds. It is also known that copper oxide can provide catalysis of organic compounds. Therefore, the aim of this work is the study of copper thin film catalysis when used in small cavities. Copper thin films, 25 nm thick, were deposited on silicon and/or rough silicon. These films do not show oxide on the surface when analyzed by Rutherford backscattering. Also, Raman analysis of these films showed only silicon bands, due to the substrate, however infrared spectroscopy shows oxide bands for films exposed to organic compound aqueous solutions. Cavities with copper films deposited inside were tested with a continuous flow of n-hexane, acetone or 2-propanol admitted in the system. The effluent was analyzed by Quartz Crystal Microbalance. It was shown that n-hexane or acetone can be trapped. The system also shows good reproducibility. Tests of catalysis were carried out using Raman spectroscopy and heating the films up to 300°C during 3 minutes after exposure to n-hexane, 2- propanol and acetophenone – pure or saturated aqueous solution. After the exposure, Raman spectra present intense bands only for 2-propanol, indicating that adsorption easily occurs. However, after heating with all solutions it was not found only silicon bands. Raman microscopy after heating also showed copper oxide cluster formation and, eventually, graphite formation. Although the heating provides oxide copper formation, this reaction does not produce a high amount of residues, which means that catalysis is possible in this condition. Thus, a simple device using copper thin films can be useful as sample pretreatment on microTAS development.
Paula Maria Vilarinho
A. T. Carvalho, A. P. Nascimento Filho, L. M. Silva, M. L. P. Silva, J. C. Madaleno, L. Pereira, "Use of Electroless Plating Copper Thin Films for Catalysis", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 514-516, pp. 1328-1332, 2006