Active surfaces® are eco-active materials that “activate” thanks to the photo-catalytic properties of titanium dioxide combined with silver. Just as the heart produces electrical pulses that we can see on an ecg, we have tested our eco-active materials using a technique called electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

A material is photo-catalytic when it is activated by light. In scientific terms, activating means being able to respond to a stimulus. Just as the heart produces electrical pulses that we can see on an ECG, the titanium dioxide responds to light by generating radicals, which like electrical pulses can be recorded using a technique called Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR).

Through these EPR analyses, conducted in the laboratories of the University of Turin, for the first time we were able to record the eco-active properties of Active Surfaces® when illuminated by a LED lamp, concretely demonstrating what happens to a photo-catalytic material when the light is switched on.

When pure titanium dioxide is illuminated by a simple visible light, like a LED lamp, the spectrum gives no signal. On the other hand, a constant and periodic signal is recorded when tiny silver nanoparticles are added on the surface of the TiO2. Silver absorbs the photons in visible light, bringing inert matter to life when a simple LED lamp is switched on.

When the light comes on, the periodic pulse recorded by the spectrum measures the formation of radicals. What does this mean? Radicals, just like the free radicals that form in the human body, are unstable species that need to react. But, while in our body they speed up cell ageing processes, and are therefore a disadvantage (not by chance we try to fight them in every way!), on our eco-active materials they trigger and speed up reactions that help to break down harmful substances like bacteria and viruses.

With the patented technology that exploits micrometric titanium dioxide combined with silver nanoparticles, Active Surfaces® become eco-active materials, eliminating bacteria and viruses and fighting pollutants when the (natural or artificial) light is on, and now we are able to actually observe this process.