Titanium oxide (TiO2) nanofibers can have various applications, such as in catalyzers and filters. When TiO2 is excited by ultraviolet light, it degrades organic material. Hence, TiO2 can be applied to filter wastewater for reuse, for example.
A new method of fabricating these fibers has been developed in Brazil by Rodrigo Savio Pessoa and Bruno Manzolli Rodrigues, researchers at the Aeronautical Technology Institute's Plasma and Process Laboratory (LPP-ITA) and the Science and Technology Institute of Universidade Brasil (ICT-UB), as part of a project supported by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP. An article on the subject has been published in Materials Today: Proceedings.
Technique - Layer - Deposition - Growth - Material
"The technique we used is called atomic layer deposition. It promotes growth of the material layer by layer, or even molecule by molecule," Pessoa told.
In the study, TiO2 was deposited on nanofibers of PBAT (poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate)), a biopolymer that degrades rapidly in nature, unlike PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which remains intact for decades.
Step - Membrane - PBAT - Nanofibers - Technique
The first step was to produce a membrane of PBAT nanofibers, which was done by electrospinning, a technique similar to that used to make cotton candy, but involving an electrostatic procedure.
"A PBAT solution was electrospun to produce ultrathin nanofibers only a few hundred nanometers thick. These fibers made up the sheet used as a substrate," Pessoa said.
Step - Fiber - TiO2 - Atomic - Layer
The next step was to coat each fiber with TiO2. "Atomic layer deposition uses precursors of the material of interest produced from gas or liquid that's rapidly evaporated by low pressure. In this case, we used titanium...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org