Coatings 2019, 9(2), 78
Here we report the methodology for nanocomposite fabrication based on the inkjet printing technique. Doped TiO2 nanoparticles with Sc contents up to 10 wt.% were synthesized and adapted towards a facile fabrication of microscale structures and thin film printing. Implementation of the state-of-the-art low-temperature synthesis allowed to us successfully incorporate high concentrations of Sc3+ ions into the TiO2 lattice and improve the light absorption characteristics of the resulting materials. Without affecting the anatase structure substantially, Sc doping gave rise to an intensified absorbance capacity and provided the means for the efficient fabrication of Sc-TiO2 microarchitectures via the inkjet printing technique. The changes in the spectral and structural characteristics of the Sc-TiO2 composites were observed by Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and UV-vis methods. The rheological parameters of the colloidal suspension based on the synthesized Sc-TiO2 nanoparticles were adapted for inkjet printing in terms of the optimal viscosity, morphology, and surface tension. The developed individual ink characteristics allowed us to produce a close coherence between the enhanced optical properties of the Sc-TiO2 prepared the sol-gel method and the inkjet-printed films. The introduced methodology features the possibility to inkjet-print doped and pure TiO2 robust films for potential large-scale fabrication.