Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Durability of Nanostructured, Surface Functional, Titanium Dioxide Based Thin Films

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorNathan Mellott
InstitutionPennsylvania State University
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsSome
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorEnvironment
Broad Research Categories Generation, Dispersion, Transformation etc.
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$89,638.00
Annual Funding$44,819.00
Funding SourceNSF
Funding MechanismExtramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2003
Anticipated End Year2005


The International Research Fellowship Program enables U.S. scientists and engineers to conduct three to twenty-four months of research abroad. The program’s awards provide opportunities for joint research, and the use of unique or complementary facilities, expertise and experimental conditions abroad. This award will support an eighteen-month research fellowship by Dr. Nathan P. Mellott to work with Dr. Massimo Guglielmi at the University of Padova in Padova, Italy. Co-support is provided by the Math and Physical Sciences Directorate’s Office of Multi-disciplinary Activities. This project will study the durability of nanostructured, surface functional, titanium dioxide (TiO2) based thin films. The research will work to determine the breakdown mechanisms of these films, and determine the effects of the associated changes in material properties on photocatalytic activity, wettability (Hydrophylicity), visible transmission, adhesion, and abrasion-resistance. In this way, a link between nanoscale processes and changes in the film chemistry and structure can be made to macroscale phenomena observed with corrosion of self-cleaning films. Titanium dioxide-based films will be exposed to a variety of environmental conditions and changes in nano-, micro-, and macro-scale, bulk and surface properties including, photocatalytic activity, wettability, adhesion, abrasion resistance, and visible transmission will be measured on pre- and post-reacted samples. The study of TiO2 coatings is an important area for research since they are widely used as photocatalysts and in such products as self-cleaning glasses and photochemical cells.