Novel nanocomposite coatings of nanoparticles
Incorporating nanoparticles into nanocomposite thin-films enables coatings with multi-functionality depending on the particle type and size, and the film morphology. These multiple functions may include, for example, combinations of photocatalysis, hydrophobicity, scratch resistance, and antibacterial property. Here we proposed and demonstrated a new encapsulation nanocomposite with controllable refractive index and potentially additional functional properties for coating photonic devices, for instance, light-emitting diodes (LEDs). To design and implement this nanocomposite coating with tunable refractive index, we employed TiO2 nanoparticles of various diameters because of their relatively high refractive index. We embedded these nanoparticles in our encapsulation sol-gel material during synthesis. In addition, we incorporated several polymerforming chemicals during synthesis to control additional functions such as hydrophobicity and scratch resistance. We used characterization tools of atomic force microscopy, refractometry, contact angle measurement, and scanning electron microscopy to study material properties.