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Journal Article

Ultraviolet Irradiation Suppresses Adhesion on TiO2


Grunze,  Michael
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Jribi, R., Barthel, E., Bluhm, H., Grunze, M., Koelsch, P., Verreault, D., et al. (2009). Ultraviolet Irradiation Suppresses Adhesion on TiO2. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113(19), 8273-8277. doi:10.1021/jp809607b.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-95FD-A
Environmental concerns have recently spurred a quest for materials that stay clean, such as TiO2, when subjected to the combined action of sunlight irradiation and exposure to rain. However, the fundamental mechanism that governs the self-cleaning properties of TiO2 still needs to be elucidated. TiO2 is known to be photocatalytic as well as to decompose organic adsorbents, but these properties do not explain its capacity to eliminate mineral contaminants. In the present paper, we report that hydrophilic UV-irradiated TiO2 layers are nonadhesive in the presence of water, thus preventing adhesion of mineral particles. Surface force measurements done using atomic force microscopy reveal the presence of an additional short-range repulsive force, which screens the van der Waals attractive forces, while long-range interactions are preserved. This additional short-range force does not originate from UV-induced trapping of surface charges or OH group creation, as we demonstrate by second harmonic generation and ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations. This short-range repulsive force, which appears to be intrinsic to the TiO2 surface, is certainly a key phenomenon for a strong self-cleaning capacity.