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Self-Cleaning Photocatalytic Polyurethane Coatings Containing Modified C60 Fullerene Additives

Chemistry Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2014, 4(3), 614-629;
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 8 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
PDF [481 KB, uploaded 13 August 2014]


Surfaces are often coated with paint for improved aesthetics and protection; however, additional functionalities that impart continuous self-decontaminating and self-cleaning properties would be extremely advantageous. In this report, photochemical additives based on C60 fullerene were incorporated into polyurethane coatings to investigate their coating compatibility and ability to impart chemical decontaminating capability to the coating surface. C60 exhibits unique photophysical properties, including the capability to generate singlet oxygen upon exposure to visible light; however, C60 fullerene exhibits poor solubility in solvents commonly employed in coating applications. A modified C60 containing a hydrophilic moiety was synthesized to improve polyurethane compatibility and facilitate segregation to the polymer–air interface. Bulk properties of the polyurethane films were analyzed to investigate additive–coating compatibility. Coatings containing photoactive additives were subjected to self-decontamination challenges against representative chemical contaminants and the effects of additive loading concentration, light exposure, and time on chemical decontamination are reported. Covalent attachment of an ethylene glycol tail to C60 improved its solubility and dispersion in a hydrophobic polyurethane matrix. Decomposition products resulting from oxidation were observed in addition to a direct correlation between additive loading concentration and decomposition of surface-residing contaminants. The degradation pathways deduced from contaminant challenge byproduct analyses are detailed. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-decontamination; fullerene; simulant; CWA; self-cleaning self-decontamination; fullerene; simulant; CWA; self-cleaning

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Lundin, J.G.; Giles, S.L.; Cozzens, R.F.; Wynne, J.H. Self-Cleaning Photocatalytic Polyurethane Coatings Containing Modified C60 Fullerene Additives. Coatings 2014, 4, 614-629.

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