Titanium dioxide (TiO2 )
Titanium dioxide has found widespread application. It is used as pigment in paint, in tooth past, and in sun block. It appears in three different crystal structure, anatase, rutile and brookite. Rutile is the most stable form; anatase converts into rutile at approx 700 °C.
Besides the above applications, it is a wide-bandgap semi-conductor with interesting properties. It is used in a new type of solar cell, based on an organic die in combination with nanoparticles titanium dioxide, this new type of solar cell is better known as the Grätzel cell.
Further interesting properties are the photocatalytic properties. It is able to catalyse certain chemical reactions upon illumination with sunlight e.g. CO2 + H2O → CH4 + O2, or CH3OH. Finally, it is able to catalyse the splitting of water: 2H2O → 2H2 + O2.
We are currently investigating both photocatalytic reactions, for this purpose we synthesised many different morphologies. Beneath you can find some examples.
Finally we also developed a TiO2 coating, which exhibits hydrophylic properties. A droplet on the surface will immediately flatten.