The inventors have developed a method that exploits the photocatalytic oxidation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles as a way to chemically degrade deposited fingerprint oils. This technology consists of a nanotextured surface comprised of multilayers of titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide nanoparticles deposited on transparent substrate. The outermost layer of the coating is composed of pure TiO2nanoparticples, maximizing both photocatalytic oxidation, to remove oils, as well as the optical transmission of the transparent coated surfaces. The thin layers between the outermost layer and the substrate can be composed of SiO2, TiO2, glass, polymer, metal, etc. to provide additional functionalities such as anti-reflectivity, anti-fogging or anti-scratch properties.
A layer-by-layer assembly technique is used to enable uniform coating thickness of each layer to ensure good optical property. Oppositely-charged polymeric and nanoparticle solutions are used to ensure a conformal coating that reduces light scattering and haze. This coating method enables extremely precise control of film thickness and uniformity even on curved surfaces, compared to other typical coating methods such as dip-coating, spray-coating and solvent casting.