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Crystals 2017, 7(1), 30; doi:10.3390/cryst7010030

Colloidal Nanocrystalline Semiconductor Materials as Photocatalysts for Environmental Protection of Architectural Stone

CNR-IPCF, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per i Processi Chimici e Fisici, U.O.S. Bari 70126, Italy
CNR-IBAM, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Lecce 73100, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Present address: Department of Chemistry Durham University United Kingdom.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Cölfen
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloidal Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Application)
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Rod-shaped TiO2 nanocrystals (TiO2 NRs), capped by oleic acid molecules (OLEA), were synthesized with controlled size, shape and surface chemistry by using colloidal routes. They were investigated for application as coating materials for preserving architectural stone of monumental and archaeological interest, in consideration of their self-cleaning and protection properties. For this purpose, two different deposition techniques, namely casting and dipping, were tested for the application of a nanocrystal dispersion on a defined stone type, as a relevant example of porous calcarenites, namely the Pietra Leccese, a building stone widely used in monuments and buildings of cultural and historic interest of the Apulia region (Italy). The physical properties of the stone surface were investigated before and after the treatment with the prepared nanostructured materials. In particular, colour, wettability, water transfer properties and stability of the coating were monitored as a function of time and of the application method. The self-cleaning properties of the TiO2 NRs coated surfaces were tested under simulated and real solar irradiation. The obtained results were discussed in the light of the specific surface chemistry and morphology of TiO2 NRs, demonstrating the effectiveness of TiO2 NRs as an active component in formulations for stone protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: colloidal nanocrystals; photocatalysis; limestone; coating; self-cleaning; hydrophobicity; stone protection colloidal nanocrystals; photocatalysis; limestone; coating; self-cleaning; hydrophobicity; stone protection

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Petronella, F.; Pagliarulo, A.; Striccoli, M.; Calia, A.; Lettieri, M.; Colangiuli, D.; Curri, M.L.; Comparelli, R. Colloidal Nanocrystalline Semiconductor Materials as Photocatalysts for Environmental Protection of Architectural Stone. Crystals 2017, 7, 30.

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