Sunfilters based on hydroxyapatite (HAp) and iron-containing compounds (Fe2O3 and calcium iron phosphates) are of increasing interest, as they show UV absorption without generating health endanger free radicals (usually observed when other inorganic sunscreens are used). In this paper, laser ablation of solids in liquids has been applied to improve the UV absorption properties of a HAp based Fe-containing sunscreen powder derived from cod fish bones. Two different laser wavelengths were explored (532 and 1064 nm, green and infrared, respectively); an improved experimental device was used, to allow a fine control of the volume of the irradiated particles. Results show an increased UV absorbance for the laser-treated powders in comparison with the untreated ones; this can be explained considering the smaller particle size and increased surface area; the higher iron concentration in the powders may also be determinant. Enhanced absorption was also observed in the near-infrared range, making the powders even more suitable for sunscreen applications. The green laser was more effective than the infrared one. Overall, laser ablation showed to be a powerful technique to control the size of the sunscreen particles and tailor their optical properties.
- Liquid laser ablation
- UV protection