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Keywords:

  • Atomic layer deposition;
  • Coatings;
  • Nanoparticles;
  • Photocatalysts;
  • Thin films;
  • Titania

Abstract

Primary titania nanoparticles were coated with ultrathin alumina films using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). The deposited films were highly uniform and conformal with an average growth rate of 0.2 nm per coating cycle. The alumina films eliminated the surface photocatalytic activity of titania nanoparticles, while maintained their original extinction efficiency of ultraviolet light. Deposited films provided a physical barrier that effectively prevented the titania surface from oxidizing organic material whereas conserving its bulk optical properties. Parts fabricated from coated powders by pressureless sintering had a 13 % increase in surface hardness over parts similarly fabricated from uncoated particles. Owing to its homogeneous distribution, the secondary alumina phase suppressed excessive grain growth. Alumina films completely reacted during sintering to form aluminum titanate composites, as verified by XRD. Coated particles showed a pseudoplastic behavior at low shear rates due to modified colloidal forces. This behavior became similar to the Newtonian flow of uncoated nanoparticle slurries as the shear rate increased. Suspensions of coated particles also showed a decreased viscosity relative to the viscosity of uncoated particle suspensions.