svajcarska Scientific Co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland
Swiss National Science Foundation

The aim of this collaborative effort is to establish nano-crystalline porous anatase Titanium dioxide (TiO2) for environmental technologies, specifically to pollutant detection and solar energy capture technologies, through combined experimental-simulation-theory efforts.

TiO2 is an important photo catalyst due to its strong oxidizing power, non-toxicity and long-term photo stability. The interest in nano-crystalline anatase TiO2 has been driven by its potential for a variety of technological applications including photo catalysis, electrochemical solar cells, optoelectronic devices, chemical sensors, and dielectric material of thin-film capacitors. Together with cerium dioxide (CeO2), porous TiO2 is seen as a material for the production of molecular hydrogen from water using sun energy in a photo catalytic reaction process. In addition, nanocrystalline anatase TiO2 is a weak magnetic semiconductor with proven room temperature ferromagnetism. This opens the possibility for the use of TiO2 in second-generation spintronic devices. Its ferromagnetic properties can be enhanced with the addition of transition metals such as iron, cobalt, or vanadium. Approximately 4 million tons of TiO2 are consumed annually worldwide -- the principle use today being that of a bright white pigment.