The SelfClean project within 24 months achieved all specific objectives from the individual research work packages 1 to 7. The outcomes of these individual research work packages culminate in the development, demonstration and dissemination of produced novel self cleaning – antibacterial coatings of high aesthetics and durability based on the photocatalytic and antimicrobial properties of the doped TiO2 nano-particles immobilized in Sn-Ni matrix, when exposed to indoor light. These coatings were applied to common touched objects via the process of electroplating proved to reduce the risk of getting infected by communicable diseases.
The Technical & Scientific Objectives of the SelfClean project in combination with the means of verification as well as the related deliverables and milestones were:
• Delivery of doped-TiO2 nanoparticles exhibiting photocatalytic activity under visible light irradiation. Means of verification: by a) measuring energy bang gap and b) testing the powder’s photocatalytic action under visible light irradiation. (D.2.1, D2.2, MS2, MS4).
• Delivery of production line of doped TiO2 nanoparticles. By producing batches of 100 g of doped-TiO2. (D3.1, D3.2, MS3, MS4).
• Delivery of a direct – pulse electroplating process for composite tin-nickel matrix self cleaning – antibacterial coatings, exhibiting enhanced mechanical & anticorrosion properties, with current efficiency > 95%. By coating samples in the electroplating line and testing the deposits in a series of analyses. Current efficiencies were calculated via the monitoring of electrical signals. (D4.1, D4.2, D4.3, MS5, MS6).
• Achievement of TiO2 codeposition rate up to 20 wt. % (~30 vol. %) in the composite coating by applying optimised pulse plating conditions specifically for the Sn-Ni/TiO2 electroplating.. Determination of TiO2 codeposition rate of coatings by applying EDS technique. (D5.1, D5.2, MS7).
• Plating of metal articles surface with the self cleaning – antibacterial composite coating by applying the optimised pulse plating conditions. Proof of concept following International Standards in Lab and Real environment (Metropolitan Hospital: Intensive Care Unit (ICU), WC-tiles and Office desks) (D6.1, D6.2, D6.3, MS8).
• To reduce energy band gap value of TiO2 nanoparticles by doping to less than 2.3eV. Means of verification: By measuring energy band gap by UV-Vis spectroscopy (D2.1, D2.2 MS2, MS9).
• Advances in 2 years in producing doped-TiO2 nanoparticles operating as photocatalyst for indoor applications. Means of verification: By: a) investigating the possibility of a patent application for the benefit of SME partners and b) by a successful build of a prototype production line of doped-TiO2 nanoparticles (D3.1, D3.2, MS3, MS4).
• Advances in 2 years in pulse current plating technique for coating Sn-Ni/doped-TiO2 composite coatings with high codeposition percentage (~20 wt. %, the highest ever recorded for TiO2 nano particulates included in a metal matrix). Means of verification: By: a) investigating the possibility of a patent application for the benefit of SME partners and b) prove by surface quantitative analysis (EDS) of the TiO2 percentage (D4.1, D5.1, D5.2 MS5, MS7).
• To produce Sn-Ni/doped-TiO2 coatings with identical mechanical and anti-corrosion properties to the existing products and high adhesion, evaluated by measuring hardness, adhesion, wear, corrosion and tribocorrosion resistance -under conditions simulating the real environment i.e. finger abrasion test in artificial sweat-, following International Standards (D5.2, D6.1, MS8).
In brackets, the related deliverables and milestones are denoted.