Photocatalytic activity indicator inks for probing a wide range of surfaces
•Three different inks used to assess the activities of different photocatalytic materials with widely different activities.•Large body of round robin results presented and analysed statistically.•Digital scanner, UV/Vis spectrophotometry and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy used to monitor colour change.•Rapid, inexpensive method to assess photocatalyst activity.
Three photocatalyst inks based on the redox dyes, Resazurin (Rz), Basic Blue 66 (BB66) and Acid Violet 7 (AV7), are used to assess the photocatalytic activities of a variety of different materials, such as commercial paint, tiles and glass and laboratory made samples of sol–gel coated glass and paint, which collectively exhibit a wide range of activities that cannot currently be probed by any one of the existing ISO tests. Unlike the ISO tests, the ink tests are fast (typically <10 min), simple to employ and inexpensive. Previous work indicates that the Rz ink test at least correlates linearly with other photocatalytic tests such as the photomineralisation of stearic acid. The average time to bleach 90% of the key RGB colour component of the ink, red for Rz and BB66 inks and green for AV7 ink, is determined, ttb(90), for eight samples of each of the different materials tested. Five laboratories conducted the tests and the results revealed an average repeatability and reproducibility of: ca. 11% and ca 21%, respectively, which compare well with those reported for the current ISO tests. Additional work on commercial self-cleaning glass using an Rz ink showed that the change in the red component of the RGB image of the ink correlated linearly with that of the change of absorbance at 608 nm, as measured using UV/vis spectroscopy, and the change in the a* component of the Lab colour analysis of the ink, as measured using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. As a consequence, all three methods generate the same ttb(90). The advantages of the RGB digital image analysis method are discussed briefly.
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Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry - Volume 290, 15 September 2014, Pages 63–71