An international team of researchers at Vienna University of Technology in Austria and at Princeton University in the USA has confirmed theoretically-predicted interactions between single oxygen molecules and crystalline titanium dioxide. The results, which could be of importance for a variety of applications, have been published in the current issue of Science Magazine.
Titanium dioxide is an inexpensive, yet versatile material. It is used as a pigment in wall paint, as a biocompatible coating in medical implants, as a catalyst in the chemical industry and as UV protection in sunscreen. When applied as a thin coating, it can keep all sorts of surfaces sparkling clean. The use of titanium oxide in the electronics industry is currently being investigated. Fundamental to all these properties could be the atomic properties discovered by Ulrike Diebold from the Institute of Applied Physics at TU Vienna and Annabella Selloni from the Frick Laboratory at Princeton and their teams.