Abstract Pulse mode effects on the crystallization temperature and photocatalytic properties of TiO 2 films were investigated. TiO 2 films were deposited on silica glass substrates using a pulse magnetron sputtering apparatus in the unipolar and the bipolar pulse modes. X-Ray diffraction showed that in the bipolar pulse mode the rutile phase TiO 2 film grew at lower substrate temperature compared with the unipolar pulse mode. The photocatalytic activities obtained from the photoreduction of Ag ions at the surface of TiO 2 films indicated that the anatase phase TiO 2 films grown in the bipolar pulse mode had higher photocatalytic activity compared with those grown in the unipolar pulse mode. This suggests that the bipolar pulse mode is an effective technique to achieve higher photocatalytic activity of TiO 2 film.