Exploiting of the unique ion exchange properties of the titanate nanotubes led to novel applications based on special modification processes. The modification with special organic molecules resulted in so-called superhydrophobic nanostructures (Fig. 1.).
Fig. 1. Schematic view of modified hydrophobic titanate surface
These modified nanostructures perform such as the leafs of Lotus flowers (Lotus-effect). This special property led to the self-cleaning of these flowers. Water droplets getting to the leafs are rolling down from the surface, while grip off the stuck dust (Fig. 2.)
Fig. 2. Water droplets rolling down from a leaf of a Lotus flower (left) and schematic view of the self-cleaning mechanism (right)
Titanate nanowire based paints have outstanding hiding power and white color due to the one-dimensional construction and the enhanced light reflectiveness and whiteness coming from the chemical structure. Hiding power can be combined with this superhydrophobic phenomena resulted in water and dust-proof materials, surfaces and coatings (Fig. 3.). The possibility for soaking is crowded out and the life-time of the paints are elongated.
Fig. 3. Water droplets on paints based on hydrophobic titanate nanotubes
Hydrophobic properties can help dispersion of such materials in polymers as an enhancing filler materials (Fig. 4.) for novel nanostructure based nanocomposites.
Fig. 4. SEM images of titanate nanostructure/polymer nanocomposites