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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 3 Issue 2 (1998), S1430-4171(98)02187-7

Comparison of The Effectiveness of Sunscreen Lotions Using A TiO2-based UVA/UVB Dosimeter

Minhua Wang,1 Jiansheng Huang,1 Yuzhuo Li,1* and William F. Barnard2

1Department of Chemistry, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5810
2REAL, US-EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 20771

Published online: 2 April 1998

Abstract. This paper describes a simple method for the evaluation of the effectiveness of a sunscreen product. It illustrates the basic principle of semiconductor (such as TiO2) band gap, band-gap excitation, conduction-band electron trapping, and its application as an effective dosimeter in the UVB and UVA regions. The color change of the dosimeter, prepared from TiO2 sol, can be quantitatively determined with a UV/Vis spectrometer or qualitatively by visual inspection. The experiment can be used as a freshman-chemistry laboratory exercise or performed as a classroom demonstration for high school students or nonchemistry-major college students.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; sunscreen lotions; UVA; UVB; UVC; radiations; photochemistry; dosimeters; TiO2; particles; anatase; rutile

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (618 KB )

Issue date: April 2, 1998

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