Chitosan nanocomposite coatings containing chemically resistant zno–snox core–shell nanoparticles for photocatalytic antifouling

Santosh Kumar, Fei Ye*, Babak Mazinani, Sergey Dobretsov, Joydeep Dutta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Functional nanocomposites with biopolymers and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles is an emerging application of photocatalysis in antifouling coatings. The reduced chemical stability of ZnO in the acidic media in which chitosan is soluble affects the performance of chitosan nanocomposites in antifouling applications. In this study, a thin shell of amorphous tin dioxide (SnOx) was grown on the surface of ZnO to form ZnO–SnOx core–shell nanoparticles that improved the chemical stability of the photocatalyst nanoparticles, as examined at pH 3 and 6. The photocatalytic activity of ZnO–SnOx in the degradation of methylene blue (MB) dye under visible light showed a higher efficiency than that of ZnO nanoparticles due to the passivation of electronic defects. Chitosan‐based antifouling coatings with varying percentages of ZnO or ZnO–SnOx nanoparticles, with or without the glutaraldehyde (GA) crosslinking of chitosan, were developed and studied. The incorporation of photocatalysts into the chitosan matrix enhanced the thermal stability of the coatings. Through a mesocosm study using running natural seawater, it was found that chitosan/ZnO– SnOx/GA coatings enabled better inhibition of bacterial growth compared to chitosan coatings alone. This study demonstrates the antifouling potential of chitosan nanocomposite coatings containing core–shell nanoparticles as an effective solution for the prevention of biofouling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4513
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2021


  • Antifouling
  • Chemically resistant
  • Chitosan
  • Nanocomposite
  • Photocatalytic
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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