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Photosensitized hybrid coatings based on polyurethane matrices and metal oxide nanoparticles with tailorable photocatalytic features
Project status: Ongoing
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The main objective of the project is the development of competitive photoactive polyurethane/metal oxide nanoparticle coatings with enhanced efficiency as photocatalysts in photodegradation of hazardous pollutants or in photoreduction of noxious nitroaromatic compounds under visible light irradiation. The aim will be achieved by combining different synthesis techniques (preparation and functionalization of nanoparticles, synthesis of monomers and polyurethanes), advanced characterization methods and knowledge in photocatalysis, to develop viable nanocomposites with tailored optical properties adapted for efficient removal of environmental contaminants.

The proposed specific objectives for the accomplishment of the project tasks are summarized as follows:

O1. Design and synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles (TiO2, ZnO, MnO2) and fluorescent precursors (coumarin, dansyl, or pyrene monomers);

O2. Design and preparation of new polyurethane elastomers bearing fluorescent entities;

O3. Development of hybrid materials by the covalent attachment of functionalized metal oxide nanoparticles to polyurethane chains;

O4. Thoroughly characterization of the fabricated nanocomposites. Evaluation of the photocatalytic abilities of the proposed materials.

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