Solvothermal Synthesis of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles
T. Druffel, N. Mandzy, E. Grulke
Optical Dynamics, US
Keywords: nanoparticles, solvothermal, optical
Abstract:Our research group has developed an intrinsically safe route to producing thin film nanocomposites for spin coating manufacturing into optical coatings. The four processing steps - nanoparticle synthesis, stabilization of the nanoparticle product, addition of photopolymerizable monomers, and spin all take place in the same solvent. This unified approach also addresses a number of potential nanotoxicology issues associated with the synthesis, recovery, and use of nanoparticles in commercial products. The nanoparticles are synthesized in the liquid phase, so that aerosols of nanoparticles are not released at any time. The nanoparticle product is stabilized in the reaction mixture to prevent agglomeration that would cause haze in the lens coatings. Commercial acrylic monomers are added directly, forming chemistry with a shelf life greater than 6 months. The nanocomposite is polymerized in place using ultraviolet lamps, leaving the nanoparticles chemically bonded to the matrix. This synthesis method also yields a nanoparticle distribution that is very tight and has been incorporated into optical applications.