Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles: Nanoparticles research presents wide scope for the development of novel solutions in the field of healthcare, cosmetics, optics and electronics. Altering their molecular and atomic states results in unexpected outcomes, which may not be possible by using the materials in their original states. This article deals with the properties and applications of titanium oxide nanoparticles.
Nanoscale TiO2 that is manufactured for specific applications is by approximately a factor of 100 finer than the TiO2 pigments and has other physical properties. The production volume of nanoscale Titanium oxide amounts to less than 1 percent that of TiO2 pigments. Nanoscale titanium oxides are not used as food additives. Currently, they are mainly found in high-factor sun protection creams, textile fibers or wood preservatives. For a long time, sun creams have been manufactured adding titanium oxide micro particles that gave the products a pasty, sticky consistency. Leaving a visible film, application of such sun creams was not easy and not pleasing to the skin.
Properties of Titanium Dioxide:
Titanium dioxide mostly occurs together with other types of rock, thus must be separated from these. Ilmenite (FeTiO3) is one of the most well-known minerals. Different methods are used for refinement.
TiO2 is a highly insoluble thermally stable. Titanium source suitable for glass, optic and ceramic applications. Oxide compounds are not conductive to electricity. However, certain perovskite structured oxides are electronically conductive finding application in the cathode of solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen generation systems. They are compounds containing at least one oxygen anion and one metallic cation. They are typically insoluble in aqueous solutions (water) and extremely stable making them useful in ceramic structures as simple as producing clay bowls to advanced electronics in light weight structural components in aerospace and electrochemical applications such as fuel cells in which they exhibit ionic conductivity. Metal oxide compounds are basic anhydrides and can therefore react with acids as well as with strong reducing agents in redox reactions.
|Molar Mass||79.9378 g/mol|
|Melting Point||1843 ° C|
|Boiling Point||2972 ° C|
|Electronic config.||Titanium [Ar] 3d24s2 Oxygen [He] 2s22p4|
The great versatility of titanium dioxide is owing to its various forms and sizes. These oxides may be used in the form of micro scale pigments or as nano-objects. Their crystal structures may vary depending on the arrangement of TiO2 atoms, one differentiates between rutile and anatase modifications.
TiO2 is mostly used as white pigment because of its high diffraction index, strong light scattering, incident-light reflection capability and a high UV resistance that make TiO2 the standard pigment found in white dispersion paints with high hiding power. Since light scattering does not occur anymore in nanoscale particles, the white TiO2 pigments used are almost exclusively rutile modification particles with grain sizes in the micrometer range. These white pigments are not only found in paints and dyes but also in varnishes, plastics, paper and textiles.
Applications of Titanium Dioxide:
TiO2 involve removing the ripening hormone ethylene from areas where perishable fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers are stored. Also titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used for stripping organic pollutants such as trichloroethylene and methyl-tert-butyl ether from water and degrading toxins produced by blue green algae.
TiO2 is a well-known photo catalyst for water and air treatment as well as for catalytic production of gases. The general scheme for the photo catalytic destruction of organics begins with its excitation by supra band-gap photons and continues through redox reactions where OH-radicals, formed on the photo catalyst surface play a major role.
TiO2 is non-toxic and therefore is used in cosmetic products (sunscreens, lipsticks, body powder, soap, pearl essence pigments and tooth pastes) and also in special pharmaceutics. TiO2 is even used in food stuffs. TiO2 photo catalytic characteristics are greatly enhanced due to the advent of nanotechnology.