Issue Date: June 13, 2011
The article on South Korea’s research on the photochemical activity of TiO2 nanotubes coated with iron oxide suggests that the reduction in activity with the addition of iron oxide was unexpected (C&EN, April 11, page 39). In the pigments and coatings industries, these results would not be surprising at all, since iron oxides are well-known to be relatively inert under photochemical conditions, and their coating of TiO2 will decrease its composite reactivity.
If the researchers want an increase in activity, they should consider a much more reactive form of iron, such as ferrocene. Previously published research clearly demonstrates that as little as 1% vinyl ferrocene in an acrylic backbone causes the otherwise stable polymer to degrade rapidly to a black form, and then drop off the substrate, within months of exterior exposure and within a few hundred hours of accelerated ultraviolet exposure.
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