In this paper, we present an overview as well as current advances in the low-temperature deposition of highly crystalline suspensions of titania nanoparticles on polymers for photocatalytic applications. The presence of preformed titania nanoparticles yields the possibility of producing photocatalytically active coatings at reduced temperatures. Transparent and photocatalytically active TiO2
coatings that degrade organic matter, have been widely applied to bestow self-cleaning properties onto surfaces. This low-temperature deposition method and its transition to polymers would open an entire array of possible self-cleaning applications. During this research, incorporation of a silica buffer layer was applied to improve the compatibility of the inorganic coating on a substrate, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polyphenylsulphone (PPSU). The photocatalytic activity of the obtained coating was analyzed for its photocatalytic abilities by evaluating the color removal of a dye solution (methylene blue, MB) under UV irradiation and compared with commercial Pilkington Activ®
self-cleaning glass. Our results indicate that the titania-coated silica-polymer systems yield a higher photocatalytic activity towards the degradation of organic pollutants. This method proves that the deposition of highly crystalline anatase suspensions on silica buffer layers is a viable method to produce photocatalytic coatings on heat-sensitive substrates.
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