Black Conductive Titanium Oxide

Abstract

Stoichiometric titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most widely studied transition- metal oxides because of its many potential applications in photoelectrochemical systems, such as dye-sensitized TiO2 electrodes for photovoltaic solar cells, and water-splitting catalysts for hydrogen generation, and in environmental purification for creating or degrading specific compounds. However, TiO2 has a wide bandgap and high electrical resistivity, which limits its use as an electrode.

Description

Stoichiometric titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most widely studied transition- metal oxides because of its many potential applications in photoelectrochemical systems, such as dye-sensitized TiO2 electrodes for photovoltaic solar cells, and water-splitting catalysts for hydrogen generation, and in environmental purification for creating or degrading specific compounds. However, TiO2 has a wide bandgap and high electrical resistivity, which limits its use as an electrode.

A set of non-stoichiometric titanium oxides called the Magnéli phases, having a general formula of TinO2n-1 with n between 4 and 10, exhibits lower bandgaps and resistivities, with the highest electrical conductivities reported for Ti4O7. These phases have been formulated under different conditions, but in all reported cases the resulting oxides have minimum grain sizes on the order of micrometers, regardless of the size of the starting titanium compounds.

In this method, nanoparticles of TiO2 or hydrogen titanates are first coated with carbon using either wet or dry chemistry methods. During this process the size and shape of the nanoparticles are “locked in.” Subsequently the carbon-coated nanoparticles are heated. This results

in the transformation of the original TiO2 or hydrogen titanates to Magnéli phases without coarsening, so that the original size and shape of the nanoparticles are maintained to a precise degree.

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Marketing Information

Market Summary

People who work on batteries, fuel cells, ultracapacitors, electrosynthesis cells, electro-chemical devices, and soil remediation have applications that could benefit from using nanoscale Magnéli phases of titanium oxide.

Applications

Application of these electrode materials may not be limited to substitution for TiO2 electrodes. Combining the robustness and photosensitivity of TiO2 with higher electrical conductivity may result in a general electrode material.

Time To Maturity

At a funding level of about $200,000 per year, this technology could achieve scale- up within two years.

Tech Transfer Details

  • 11/9/2011
  • Kimberley Elcess PhD (631) 344-4151
  • 11/9/2011

Details

A U.S. Provisonal Patent Application is pending. It claims the structures and methods of making them. During scale-up to commercial production it is likely that patentable methods will be developed relating to materials processing. An industrial partner may also choose to protect certain know-how gained during scale-up as trade secrets.






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