Photocatalytic self-cleaning encompasses the synergy of two different mechanisms to enable a cleaning assistance effect. The direct oxidation of adsorbing contaminants leads to the decomposition of dirt, which is boosted by the superhydrophilic effect on the active catalytic surfaces in contact with water. A low water contact angle is achieved here by irradiating the surface with UV light. The formation of a thin water film makes contaminants easier to remove (easy-to-clean effect).
Self-cleaning surfaces are being used increasingly today for glass panes, mirrors, roofing tiles, photovoltaic modules and numerous other products. Fraunhofer IST offers a broad portfolio of suitable measuring techniques for the qualification of these products.