Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a simple and inexpensive process for producing titanium oxide coatings based on solution deposition.
Titanium oxide's effectiveness as a coating is well known. "Now we have a better way to apply it," said Eric Lund, a licensing associate at the laboratory. "The application process PNNL has developed will allow the film to adhere to a variety of surfaces."
"This process is cost-effective, easy, has wide applicability and should readily scaleup because it's simple solution chemistry," Lund said. "It's also quite rapid, capable of coating most objects within 10 minutes at temperatures between 40-100 deg C." Complete dehydration, accomplished by treating the films at temperatures near 400 deg C, produces single-phase titanium oxide.
The laboratory's titanium oxide film was originally developed to prevent UV radiation damage to polymer components in conventional lighting. Other applications for this process may include UV-blocking coatings for plastics, photocatalysts, optical and decorative purposes, photoelectrodes, gas sensors and electrochromic display devices.
Advantages include the following.
- Low cost easy to perform: Does not require high temperatures or vacuum.
- Uniformly coats complex and irregular shapes.
PNNL is a DOE research facility and delivers breakthrough science and technology in areas of environment, energy, health, fundamental sciences and national security. Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, has operated PNNL for DOE since 1965.
Battelle, which operates PNNL, has obtained patent protection for this novel method (U.S. Patent 5,766,784) and is seeking industrial partners, including those who may be interested in Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, to help commercially develop this titanium oxide film processing method to meet their needs. Business inquiries on PNNL research and technologies should be directed to 888/375.PNNL or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All graphics reprinted with permission of The American Ceramic Society, POBox 6136, Westerville, OH 43086-6136. Copyright 1998 by The American Ceramic Society. All rights reserved.