Hierarchical amorphous nanofibers for transparent inherently super-hydrophilic coatings

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Journal Article
Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2014, 2 (37), pp. 15575 - 15581
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Ultra-high specific surface area, hierarchical TiO 2 nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning and directly self-assembled into highly porous films for application as transparent super-hydrophilic coatings. The evolution of the coating key structural properties such as fiber morphology and composition was mapped from the as-prepared sol-gel up to a calcination temperature of 500 °C. Main fiber restructuring processes such as formation of amorphous Ti-O bonds, crystallization, polymer decomposition and the organic removal were correlated to the resulting optical and wetting performance. Conditions for low-temperature synthesis of hierarchical coatings made of amorphous, mesoporous TiO 2 nanofibers with very high specific surface area were determined. The wetting properties of these amorphous and crystalline TiO 2 nanofiber films were investigated with respect to the achievement of inherently super-hydrophilic surfaces not requiring UV-activation. The surface stability of these amorphous TiO 2 nanofibers was assessed against current state-of-the-art crystalline super-hydrophilic TiO 2 preserving excellent anti-fogging performance upon an extended period of time (72 h) in darkness. © the Partner Organisations 2014.
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