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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Mar 8;9(9):8354-8360. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b14631. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Superoleophilic Titania Nanoparticle Coatings with Fast Fingerprint Decomposition and High Transparency.

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Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre, Singapore.


Low surface tension sebaceous liquids such as human fingerprint oils are readily deposited on high energy surfaces such as clean glass, leaving smudges that significantly lower transparency. There have been several attempts to prevent formation of these dactylograms on glass by employing oil-repellent textured surfaces. However, nanotextured superoleophobic coatings typically scatter visible light, and the intrinsic thermodynamic metastability of the composite superoleophobic state can result in failure of the oil repellency under moderate contact pressure. We develop titania-based porous nanoparticle coatings that are superoleophilic and highly transparent and which exhibit short time scales for decomposition of fingerprint oils under ultraviolet light. The mechanism by which a typical dactylogram is consumed combines wicking of the sebum into the nanoporous titania structure followed by photocatalytic degradation. We envision a wide range of applications because these TiO2 nanostructured surfaces remain photocatalytically active against fingerprint oils in natural sunlight and are also compatible with flexible glass substrates.


fingerprint degradation; photocatalytic effects; smudge resistant; superoleophilic surfaces; titania nanoparticles; transparent nanoporous surfaces


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