Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A bathroom that cleans itself

08.02.2006


Cleaning bathrooms may become a thing of the past with new coatings that will do the job for you.



Researchers at the University of New South Wales are developing new coatings they hope will be used for self-cleaning surfaces in hospitals and the home.

Led by Professor Rose Amal and Professor Michael Brungs of the ARC Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, a research team is studying tiny particles of titanium dioxide currently used on outdoor surfaces such as self-cleaning windows.


The particles work by absorbing ultraviolet light below a certain wavelength, exciting electrons and giving the particles an oxidising quality stronger than any commercial bleach.

These nanoparticles then kill microbes and break down organic compounds. And because surfaces coated with titanium dioxide have another property called ’superhydrophilicity’ -- meaning droplets do not form -- water runs straight off the surface, washing as it goes.

Presently, titanium dioxide can only be activated by the UVA present in sunlight. But the UNSW team is working on ways to activate titanium dioxide with indoor light.

The team is modifying titanium dioxide nanoparticles with other elements such as iron and nitrogen so they can absorb light at longer wavelengths.

Lab trials show that glass coated with the new nanoparticles can be activated by visible light from a lamp to kill Escherchia coli.

"If you’ve got this on tiles or shower screens you don’t need so many chemical agents," says Professor Amal.

So far the team has been working at laboratory scale. "It’s probably a year before we can talk to industry and test outside the lab," says Professor Amal.

Professor Rose Amal: + 61-2 9385 4361, r.amal@unsw.edu.au
Professor Michael Brungs:+ 61-2-9385 4306, m.brungs@unsw.edu.au

Mary O’Malley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unsw.edu.au

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>