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Applications of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles

Conference Paper · January 2009

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2184.6006

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Nano-Technology in Environments Conference – February 2006
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

Applications of Titanium Dioxdie Nanocoating

Behzad Rezaei1, Hamid Mosaddeghi2

1, 2
Department of Chemistry, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

Metal oxide semiconductors, such as TiO2 nanoparticles are frequently used as photocatalyst due to non-
toxicity, chemical stability, and the ability to possess relatively high photocatalytic activity of TiO2.
Laboratory studies have demonstrated that organic compounds such as alcohols, carboxylic acid, phenolic
derivatives, and chlorinated aromatics can be readily mineralized by TiO2 into harmless carbon dioxide,
water and simple mineral acids, using molecular oxygen as the primary oxidant.

Keywords: Titanium oxide - Environmental pollution - photocatalytic degradation process

Introduction medicine. For example, titanium oxide

Nanotechnology is not just about the size of very nanoparticles (fig.1) are very important due to their
small things, it is the revolutionary science and the various applications; removing the environmental
art of manipulating matter at the atomic or pollution, sterilization and restraining virus,
molecular scale. More important, it is about the defending UV, keep rust away, and depigment[1].
structure and the ability of molecular compounds to The element Titanium was discovered in 1791 by
"work". Research in areas related to nanomaterial is William Gregor, in England. Four years later a man
needed to develop manufacturing techniques. In named Martin H. Klaproth, recognized that there
particular, it is a synergy of top-down with bottom- was a new chemical element in this mineral, he
up processes. When matter is as small as 1 to 100 later named it Titanium after the Titans, which
nanometers, many of its features will easily change were humongous monsters that ruled the world in
and have many unique features both different from Greek mythology. Martin H. Klaproth was not able
macro-matters and single atoms due to the quanta to make the pure element of titanium however; he
effect, regional confinement of matter, and huge was only able to produce TiO2, or Titanium
surface or interface effects. The final objective of Dioxide[2].
nanometer technology is to produce products of Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a multifaceted
Special functions with new physical and chemical compound. It's the stuff that makes toothpaste
features by making atoms, molecules and matters white and paint opaque. TiO2 is also a potent
presenting their features directly in the length of a photocatalyst that can break down almost any
nanometer. organic compound when exposed to sunlight, and a
In recent years, metal oxide nanoparticles have number of companies are seeking to capitalize on
attracted much attention by their potential titanium dioxide’s reactivity by developing a wide
application in diverse fields including catalysis, range of environmentally beneficial products,
magnetic recording media, microelectronics, including self-cleaning fabrics, auto body finishes,

Assoc.Prof. of Analytical chemistry
Msc Student of Physical chemistry
Nano-Technology in Environments Conference – February 2006
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

and ceramic tiles. Also one development is a TiO2 doesn't cover up smells, like conventional air
paving stone that uses the catalytic properties of fresheners, it actually attacks the root of the smell
TiO2 to remove nitrogen oxide from the air, by causing the breakdown of the origin of the odor
breaking it down into more environmentally benign (ammonia, aldehyde gas [smoke], etc). (fig.3)
substances that can then be washed away by
rainfall. Water purifying applications:
Other experiments with TiO2 involve removing the TiO2 also causes detrimental organic matter such
ripening hormone ethylene from areas where as organic chlorine compounds, tetrachlorethylene,
perishable fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers are trihalomethane and other harmful substances to
stored; stripping organic pollutants such as broken down[3]. (fig.4). For example, chloroform
trichloroethylene and methyl-tert-butyl ether from breaks down according to the process below:
water; and degrading toxins produced by blue-
green algae. It remains to be seen, however, H2O + CHCl3 + (1/2)O2 Î CO2 + 3HCl
whether the formation of undesirable intermediate
products during these processes outweighs the
benefits offered by TiO2's photocatalytic properties. Pharmaceutical applications
Titanium dioxide is a well-known photocatalyst for Sterilization, restraining virus; TiO2 photocatalyst
water and air treatment as well as for catalytic can destroy the membrane of cells; solid the
production of gases. The general scheme for the proteins of viruses, restrain the virus activation, and
photocatalytic destruction of organics begins with catching them. It kills bacterias up to 99.97%. TiO2
its excitation by suprabandgap photons, and can kill coliform, green suppuration bacillus,
continues through redox reactions where OH golden grape coccus, mildew, suppuration fungus,
radicals, formed on the photocatalyst surface, play etc.The ability of sterilization can be tested through
a major role. Titanium dioxide is non-toxic and coliform and golden grape coccus. At the
therefore is used in cosmetic products (sunscreens, beginning, there are 3.3×105 coliforms and 3.2×105
lipsticks, body powder, soap, pearl essence golden grape coccus. After 24 hours’ reaction,
pigments, tooth pastes) and also in special there are only 10[4].
pharmaceutics. Titanium dioxide is even used in
food stuffs, for instance in the wrapping of salami. Mechanism of titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide’s photocatalytic characteristics
are greatly enhanced due to the advent of
photocatalytic degradation process
Under illumination, the TiO2 photocatalyst absorbs
nanotechnology. At nano-scale, not only the
photons with energy equal or higher than its band
surface area of titanium dioxide particle increases
gap energy (λ <385nm). This will delocalizes a
dramatically but also it exhibits other effects on
valence electron and excites it to the conduction
optical properties and size quantization. An
band of this semiconductor. These photo excited
increased rate in photocatalytic reaction is observed
charge carriers can initiate the degradation of the
as the redox potential increases and the size
adsorbed chemical species by one or more forms of
electron transfer reactions. However, alternatively,
they can recombine radiatively or non-radiatively
Applications of titanium oxide and dissipating the input energy as heat[5]. (fig.5)
photocatalyst To improve the efficiency, Fe and Er are used as
Photocatalysis refers to the chemical reaction that additives with TiO2. Then it can be used in visible
occurs when light strikes a chemical compound that region as the band gap energy reduces[6].
is light sensitive, such as titanium oxide. When
light strikes titanium dioxide, a chemical reaction Figures and Graphs
repeated in the immediate region and causes the
breakdown of organic toxins, odors, and more. This
reaction has many valuable results; several of References
important applications are listed below (fig.2)
1. United States Patent 6653356
Environmental improvement applications: 2. Greenwood N.N., Earnshaw A.” Chemistry of
TiO2 causes remove environmental pollution the elements”, pp 954, Elsevier, 1997.
substances, such as NOx emitted by exhaust gas etc. 3. Ollis, D.F.,Alekabi,Matthews,R.W. In
from the atmosphere. SOx, a detrimental inorganic Photocatalytic Purification and Treatment of Water
matter in the atmosphere is also broken down. and Air, Eds. Elsevier, Amsterdam ,1993.

Deodorization applications:
Nano-Technology in Environments Conference – February 2006
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

4. Ireland, J.C. et. al. Inactivation of Escheria coli

by Titanium Dioxide Photocatalytic Oxidation.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. May
5. Http://
6. Http://
Nano-Technology in Environments Conference – February 2006
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

Fig 1. TEM image of titanium dioxide Nanoparticles

Fig 2. Applications of Titanium Dioxide

Nano-Technology in Environments Conference – February 2006
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

Fig 3. The Function of Decomposing Aldehyde

Fig 4: Decomposing of oil contamination (A: first day , B: third day , C:fifth day , D:7th day )
Nano-Technology in Environments Conference – February 2006
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

Fig 5. Mechanism of titanium dioxide photocatalytic degradation process

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