Organic-Inorganic Hybrid (OIH) materials derived from Sol-gel process have emerged as promising thin films and coatings for myriads of applications. Our ability to control their structures and functionalities at micro or nano scales has enabled their practical applications in metal-pretreatments, optical films, electronic and bio-medical applications beside many others. Typically deposited from dilute aqueous application baths, the conventional “wet” sol-gel process poses many technical, environmental, and processing related challenges.
This paper focuses on our efforts in replacing “wet” sol-gel process with a novel UV-initiated “Dry” process using commercially available photo-latent acid and base catalysts, along with organo-silane sol-gel precursors. The results shows that the novel UV-process not only eliminate technical and environmental challenges of “wet” process but also allows deposition of thicker films not possible by conventional process. The results of corrosion resistance study by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) demonstrates their feasibility and superiority of this new process over the conventional one. Besides their applications in pretreatments and coatings, the novel materials and UV-initiated process is also suitable for additive manufacturing (3D Printing) applications.
Dr. Vijay Mannari is a distinguished professor of polymers and Coatings Technology, and Director of Coatings Research Institute at Eastern Michigan University. His research mainly focuses on development of sustainable polymer building-blocks for advanced coatings application. His current research interests also include isocyanate-free polyurethane, sol-gel chemistry, UV-cure coatings and 3D printing materials.
Besides many awards and accomplishments in his discipline, Prof. Mannari holds 8 US patents, has 60+ publications and is an active in offering professional development courses in coatings. He is actively associated with professional societies and associations such as American Coatings Association, and currently serving as president of Detroit Coatings Society.