Nanoscientists at the Univeristy of Alicante have modified a commonly-used compound, titanium dioxide, turning it from white to black to boost its efficiency and make environmental applications a real possibility.
Researcher Elena Serrano at the Universidad de Alicante (University of Alicante, UA) has modified the colour of titanium dioxide from white to black for use as an efficient sterilising agent, removing organic contaminants from air and water.
Cheap to produce and not at all toxic, titanium dioxide (known as titania) has many uses. It is used as a pigment to provide whiteness and opacity to everything from soaps, cosmetics, paints, paper to foods, toothpaste and medicines. It is also widely used as a sunscreen, due to its strong UV light-absorbing capabilities.
Black and white titanias
Image: NANOMOL, University of Alicante