Nanocomposites that incorporate TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles separately in three-dimensional solgel matrices through full chemical integration are prepared to perform highly efficient photocatalytic activities for applications of environmental decontamination. Spectral responses of photocatalytic TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles exposed to UV activation for self-cleaning process were obtained as also their optical relative spectral efficiency curves from 270 to 370 nm in the UV regime. Our investigations of the optimal conditions to increase their spectral photocatalytic efficiencies resulted in remarkably high levels of optical recovery and efficiency.
We review our research work on the development of photonic devices and systems embedded with nanocyrstals for new functionality within EU Phoremost Network of Excellence on nanophotonics. Here we report on CdSe/ZnS nanocrystal-based hybrid optoelectronic devices and systems used for scintillation to enhance optical detection and imaging in the ultraviolet range and for optical modulation via electric field dependent optical absorption and photoluminescence in the visible. In our collaboration with DYO, we also present photocatalytic TiO<sub>2</sub> nanoparticles incorporated in solgel matrix that are optically activated in the ultraviolet for the purpose of self-cleaning.