Titanium oxides and photocatalysis

(Referring to titanium) Such a fascinating material, which belongs to the world of technology, art, energy and health, which is used to fly and to go deep underwater in the sea abysses, to cure and to kill, to give grace and strength, to make people dream and to make their dream come true, could be described more warmly and with more fantasy. But maybe it is not necessary”

Extracted from: Titaniocromia (e altre cose), Pietro Pedeferri

Research activities on titanium oxidation are mainly devoted to the study of surface alterations of titanium and its alloys in order to:

  • tune and characterize structure, morphology and color of titanium dioxide films obtained by anodizing treatments or thermal oxidation
  • obtain photoactive titanium dioxide surfaces showing photocatalytic activity, applied in water and air purification devices, and self-cleaning properties, exploited in architecture to reduce the chromatic alterations due to soiling
  • produce colored surfaces thanks to the obtaining of interference colors arising from the presence of titanium dioxide films, which find applications both in architecture and in the manufacturing sector (production of seminoble metals jewellery)
  • optimize titanium corrosion resistance through the controlled growth of an oxide film with specific thickness and microstructure, through PEO (plasma electrolytic oxidation) technique or pulsed alternating current

Starting from these studies, another research line was developed, focused on energy efficient materials for the construction industry. This activity involves the optimization and characterization of self-cleaning and photocatalytic materials (for instance, coatings, paints, or cementitious materials) by sol-gel deposition or nanoparticles addition.

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