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Visible Light Activates Nitrogen-Doped Titanium Dioxide
Views: 936 Created 03/31/2011

     In the July 13, 2001, issue of Science, researchers from Japan reported that titanium dioxide films doped with nitrogen ions degraded organic compounds in the presence of visible light. Visible light-activated titanium dioxide has a wide range of applications, which include sewage help with essays treatment, coatings for self-cleaning cars and windows, and uses in hospitals and bathrooms.

    The United States produces 1.5 million tons of titanium dioxide each year, used primarily as a white pigment in sunscreen and paint. When exposed to ultraviolet light, titanium dioxide can also break down dirt and pollution, kill bacteria, and prevent the development of fog-forming water droplets. help with your essay However, only 5 percent of natural and indoor light (visible light) is composed of ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths; thus the beneficial properties of titanium dioxide can only be activated by exposure to a UV lamp. For years, researchers have been experimenting with novel forms of the compound that are activated by visible wavelengths. Much prior research was focused on metal-enhanced titanium dioxide. However, nitrogen-supplemented titanium dioxide coatings are more stable and cheaper to produce than metal coatings.

    Potential applications of visible light activated titanium dioxide are numerous. For example, nitrogen-enhanced titanium dioxide bonds to water so tightly that fog-forming droplets are flattened. As a result, coatings could be used to create fogless bathroom or car mirrors. Currently, a group of researchers is testing whether a film of nitrogen-supplemented titanium dioxide used to coat military vehicles can break down biological weapons as the vehicles sit in the Sun.

 —Daniel Schuller

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