Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Modification of TiO2 nanoparticle surface: prevention of agglomeration and preservation of intrinsic properties

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.01  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology  Inorganic nonmetallic materials 

Code Science Field
T155  Technological sciences  Coatings and surface treatment 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
titanium dioxide, surface functionalization, smart coatings, multifunctionality, pigments, photocatalysis
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  11517  PhD Marjan Bele  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  554 
2.  22313  PhD Janez Bernard  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  148 
3.  19277  PhD Robert Dominko  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  764 
4.  00582  PhD Miran Gaberšček  Materials science and technology  Head  2011 - 2014  902 
5.  22768  PhD Abdelrahim Hassanien  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2013  159 
6.  13917  Igor Kolenc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
7.  05930  PhD Ana Mladenović  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  822 
8.  24929  Mateja Močnik Ivec  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
9.  30010  PhD Žiga Nose  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
10.  13923  Vida Planinšek  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2013 
11.  10083  PhD Aleksander Rečnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014  651 
12.  12521  PhD Andrijana Sever Škapin  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  431 
13.  27939  Luka Škrlep  Civil engineering  Technical associate  2011 - 2014  131 
14.  32022  PhD Erika Švara Fabjan  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  73 
15.  25796  PhD Nika Veronovski  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2011  74 
16.  22451  PhD Petra Živec  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  44 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,237 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,855 
3.  0276  Cinkarna - Metallurgical and Chemical Industry, Celje, Inc.  Celje - poštni predali  5042801  94 
4.  1502  Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute  Ljubljana  5866324000  10,214 
Titanium dioxide is a strategic material, which is being used increasingly in all sorts of products such as paints and varnishes of all kinds, plastic material, paper, rubber, ceramics, welding electrodes, packaging, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, etc. The different functional qualities of TiO2 (scattering power, absorption, adsorption, photocatalysis …) are influenced by the manner in which the TiO2 was structured on the nano-scale. In most cases the optimal nano-scale is very difficult to achieve, partly because the problem arises with the initial nano-particles, which have a great tendency for agglomeration. Even greater problems arise in subsequent processing; before, during and after surface treatment and installation of treated TiO2 particles in the final product. The interaction between nano-particles and other stages most often leads to strong agglomeration of TiO2 nano-particles, which causes partial or complete loss of functionality of the final product. There are different approaches to solving the problem of agglomeration of TiO2. The approaches are adapted to the desired characteristics of final products. From a user’s perspective, it would be much more sensible to prepare a TiO2 starting material, which would be usable in a wide range of applications. The main objective of the project is to develop a completely new procedure for modification of TiO2 pigments by manufacturing smart multifunctional nano coating around each pigment nano particle. It is essential that the surface property of such modified pigments is defined by a deliberately triggered external factor (pH value, temperature, etc.) The new concept will be worked out in detail, while addressing the problem of protection of nano-dimensional TiO2 particles. Smart multifunctional coating on the surface of TiO2 particles will be prepared using aliphatic polyelectrolytes, which have a basic chain of coupled, differently charged functional groups. Different pH values will activate one of the functional groups, making the surface of TiO2 become either positively or negatively charged depending on the pH of the medium. This surface treated TiO2 could be used in various applications, because the nature of the surface will only depend on the pH value of the medium in which the TiO2 will be incorporated. The project is divided into three segments, namely "Development and characterization of smart multifunctional nano coating pigment particles on the surface of TiO2", "The development process for tailoring surface characteristics of pigment particles at the request of the user" and "Preparation and characterization of real coating with developed modified pigments and demonstration of new coating."    These segments will be carried out with the cooperation of following partners in the project: Research organizations Chemical Institute (KI), Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), Slovenian Institute of Civil Engineering (ZAG), and companies Cinkarna Celje d.d. and TRC JUB d.o.o., which will co-finance the project and represent the end users of the final products. This is an applicative project with clear objectives to improve specific products. However, we will not be satisfied with mere improvement of existing products; we want to radically change the present concept of preparation of TiO2 particles used in various applications. It is a high-tech product (top-down nanotechnology) with high added value. Successful implementation would further secure the market position of the two industrial partners - not only on the Slovenian, but particularly in the global market.
Significance for science
Advanced photocatalytic materials are important for various areas of science: air-cleaning coatings, water purification and catalysis of organic reactions. Activity of self-cleaning coating for indoor use in the visible light is highly beneficial. In developed several TiO2-based materials with higher photocatalytic activity in the visible light compared to known standard P25. Additional research showed it is possible to increase the brightness of the pigment TiO2 particles by coating them with organic brightners. This will enable decrease of TiO2 quantity in coating while retaining same level of brightness.
Significance for the country
We continued with excellent cooperation between two research institutes and two Slovenian industrial partners. Equipped with the results of the present project the industrial partners will be able to strengthen their position in Slovenian and international market, thereby strengthening Slovenian economy. The most important in this context are the development of photocatalytic materials active in the visible light and increasing the brightness of the pigment TiO2. Both achievements could be soon incorporated into production and thus into final products.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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