Journal of Materials Research


Nucleation and early growth of anodized TiO2 film

A. Jaroenworalucka1 c1, D. Regoninia2, C.R. Bowena2 and R. Stevensa2

a1 MTEC: National Metal and Materials Technology Center, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand

a2 Materials Research Centre, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down BA2 7AY, United Kingdom


Anodized films of titanium were prepared under different controlled conditions in a water-based electrolyte containing fluorine ions, using either a constant potential or a potential gradually rising to 20 V. The films were then examined using transmission electron microscopy at different stages of growth, in particular, the very early stages of growth (30 s, 200 s, and 10 min) and when the ordered nano-tubular structure was finally established (2–4 h). The use of ramped voltage during the early stages of anodization allowed a well-interconnected porous network to develop and maintained active oxidation throughout anodization. The film, as formed, consisted mainly of amorphous oxide/hydroxides of titanium with small regions of nano-sized crystals. These were found more often in the denser regions of the amorphous network, particularly the arms of the coral-like structure that formed. As the anodized film grew in thickness, the pores tended to become aligned, leading to a surface layer of nanotubes on the electrode material. Electron optical characterization revealed that the nanotubes consist of a stack of rings where the passage of the current had been optimized.

(Received October 2 2007)

(Accepted March 21 2008)

Key Words:

  • Ceramic;
  • Thin film;
  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: