Scientists at NTU Singapore have developed a new type of coating that, when applied on a plastic surface, prevents fogging and ‘self-cleans’, overcoming the need for frequent reapplications.
The durable coating of a thin double layered silicon dioxide - titanium dioxide film is applied through a two-step technique.
Firstly, the plastic surface is treated with oxygen plasma, which is a common industrial method to clean surfaces to improve adhesion. Then the thin double layered film is deposited on the plastic surface using pulse laser deposition – in which a laser beam is focused to vaporise material from the intended coating targets to achieve the desired level of thickness of the film.
The coating also has photocatalytic ability, meaning it can ‘self-clean’ by reacting with and removing organic residues under sunlight (ultraviolet light) exposure.In lab tests, of its ‘self-cleaning’ ability, the newly developed coating was able to break down contaminants (i.e., bacteria, dirt) on the plastic surface after a full day of ultraviolet light exposure.