via Fraunhofer Society
Cleaning glass facades and solar installations is expensive and time-consuming. Dirt reduces the yield of solar modules. Reasons enough to research surfaces that minimize this effort. The Fraunhofer FEP has now succeeded within the European Union-funded NewSkin project (GA: 862100) in applying crystalline titanium oxide to ultra-thin glass using a roll-to-roll process, thus achieving hydrophobic surfaces that become superhydrophilic under UV light.
Initial results of this showcase of some of the NewSkin open access upscaling facilities will be presented at the Fraunhofer joint booth, No. C2-528, during BAU 2023, April 17?–?22, in Munich, Germany.
In 2021, photovoltaics covered 8.9 percent of gross electricity consumption in Germany1 with electricity generation of 50 TWh. Of course, this should and must be increased in the interests of a sustainable energy transition. Dirt-repellent, easy to clean surfaces ensure transparency and cleanliness for facades and more efficient and consistent energy production for solar, with less maintenance costs.
“We are focusing on photoinduced hydrophilicity on surfaces here,” explains graduate student Valentin Heiser from Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP. “To upscale this effect, we apply crystalline titanium oxide to ultrathin glass in a roll-to-roll process for the first time. This is very efficient. The ultrathin and lightweight glass can be applied subsequently to facades or directly incorporated into solar modules as a composite material – and even onto curved surfaces.”
Titanium dioxide changes its hydrophilicity, i.?e. its water repellency, when exposed to UV radiation (i.?e. activation by sunlight, for example). Unirradiated, it is hydrophobic, i.?e. it forms water drops. After irradiation, it is superhydrophilic, i.?e. completely moistening. In the case of photoinduced hydrophilicity, the surface changes from hydrophobic to superhydrophilic after approx. 30 minutes of irradiation with sun-like UV light.
On surfaces with such a titanium dioxide coating, this effect means that no or only very little dirt can be deposited. If, for example, traffic dust, sand or other dirt deposits on glass facades or solar panels, it is washed off by the nightly hydrophobicity of the surface via beading raindrops. In addition, the cyclic alternation of hydrophobic and superhydrophilic properties means that the dirt does not adhere to the surface during the day.
Titanium oxide activated with UV light also decomposes organic molecules on the surface by photocatalysis. This produces antibacterial and sterile surfaces that are of particular interest in medical technology or in connection with flexible displays.
The researchers at Fraunhofer FEP have now developed the first coatings: Specifically, a 30 cm wide and 20 m long roll of thin glass, with a glass thickness of 100 micrometers, was coated with 30 –150 nanometers of titanium oxide, in a roll-to-roll system. This pilot plant for roll-to-roll coating of thin glass (FOSA LabX 330 Glass from VON ARDENNE) is located at Fraunhofer FEP.
One challenge for this showcase project is that thin glass is a very new substrate with significant handling requirements, as it breaks very easily and reacts sensitively to thermal and mechanical stresses. Secondly, titanium dioxide achieves its special properties of hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity only when it is crystalline. For this, it requires high temperatures during production. Sputter coatings with these requirements could not be implemented in roll-to-roll technology until now because common substrates, such as films, could not withstand the high temperatures. This is where thin glass provides an alternative.
Thanks to this work through NewSkin, Fraunhofer FEP scientists are now working on combining the properties of titanium dioxide and thin glass in an optimal and cost-efficient way in order to bring innovative products to market together with industry. The first successful coatings on ultra-thin glass paved the way for this. Researchers from the Newskin partner Uppsala University are working on transferring the results even to polymer films.
In the future, work will also be done by Fraunhofer FEP on layer systems that can be activated not only with UV light but also with visible light. The production and embedding of nanoparticles or doping with nitrogen, for example, are also being considered.
Original Article: Hydrophilic coatings from the roll – retrofitting facades and solar panels easily with ultra-thin glass
More from: Fraunhofer Society
The Latest Updates from Bing News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Anti-Fog Coatings Market 2023: Growth Trends and Opportunities by 2030
The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content. Mar 28, 2023 (The Expresswire) -- "Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry." The ...
- Medical Device Coating Market to be Worth $23.85 Billion by 2030: Grand View Research, Inc.
The global medical device coating market size is expected to reach USD 23.85 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 8.0% from 2023 to 2030, as per the new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The ...
- Hydrophilic Coating For Medical Device Market 2023 | Exhibit Growth In Upcoming Years By 2030 | 129 Pages Report
(MENAFN- The Express Wire) Global Hydrophilic Coating for Medical Device Market report 2023 indicates Vital Information about Current Market Size, Share and Revenue Generation. This research ...
- Global Hydrophilic Medical Coatings Market Size by Type (Polyurethane Coatings, Polyisocyanate Coatings, Other) Forecast from 2023 to 2028
Mar 21, 2023 (The Expresswire) -- "Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry." A recent analysis on the ...
- Hydrophilic Coatings: Considerations for Product Development
A cross-section illustration demonstrates the bonding mechanism common in hydrophilic coatings. Hydrophilic coatings exhibit water-loving characteristics. Chemically, this means they participate in ...
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- 2023 Top Glass Fabricators Report
This year’s Top Glass Fabricators can celebrate a recovering industry. They report higher sales, increased investment and expanding companies. This last year was also one that saw major changes unfold ...
- How Often Should You Clean Your Water Pitcher?
If you don’t keep your water pitch clean, bacteria can build up in it and could even make you sick. To properly clean your water pitcher, use warm water and soap. Scrub the inside thoroughly with a ...
- Walmart spring deal: This 4-piece outdoor patio furniture set is just $190 (and it's really nice)
Save $258 on this outdoor patio furniture set at Walmart. Walmart . Looking to makeover your outdoor living space this spring? Head on over to Walmart -- the Walmart website that ...
- Walmart spring deal: Get a brand new rattan patio set for only $165
Spring is finally here, so why not upgrade your outdoor living space with a new patio set? Walmart has all sorts of patio furniture deals going on this April, including this must-see deal on a ...
- Female hygiene: How to clean and keep healthy down there
Women can conquer the world, especially if they have nothing to worry about in their vulva, vagina, their menstrual cycle, and the general often-whispered subjects of sexual and women's health.