Tiny Tech #17: TiO2 Nanosheets

Today from the world of Tiny Tech:

In the modern world, titania (also known by its chemical formula, TiO2) can be found in many products.  This is because titania is great at absorbing UV light, making it ideal for use in protective coatings like paint or sunscreen.  We can increase the effectiveness of titania by making the particles very small, that is nanoscaled.  One such form is titania nanosheets, which allow us to take advantage of the material’s unique nanoscale properties in applications that require bulk materials.  To obtain the material, sheets are peeled off of a large crystal of titania like layers of an onion.  In these nanosheets the TiO2 absorbs higher energy UV light than the original crystal.  When the sheets are stacked, the TiO2 does not act as if the original crystal was simply put back together but instead behaves like the individual layers.  If the titania is layered with another material that is a good absorber of visible light, the material can be used in solar energy applications.  

With uses from white paint to solar cells, the future of nanoscaled TiO2 is bright.

Tiny Tech is made possible by the National Science Foundation and WUFT.  To learn more about Tiny Tech, go to tinytechradio.org.

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