A TiO2-based photocatalytic film on glass for self-cleaning purposes was prepared via sol-gel. This film exhibits similar physical and chemical properties, including; (1) surface composition and chemistry, (2) crystal phase and size, (3) UV transmission, and (4) surface roughness/morphology, as commercially available (CVD-based) films. In addition the sol-gel derived, laboratory films deposited on glass exhibits comparable, or in some cases better photocatalytic performance than the commercially available films on glass. Photocatalytic performance of the commercial and laboratory prepared films are determined and are discussed in context of their material properties/ characteristics. Furthermore films are reacted in model solutions (neutral, acidic, and basic) which in turn not only cause changes in the surface composition and roughness of the films, but also cause an increase in the photocatalytic performance. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.