Hugo Destaillats Shares His Favorite Element

October 28, 2019

As part of a video series in which scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) share their favorite periodic table elements, Hugo Destaillats offers his tribute to titanium. Destaillats, a chemical staff scientist/engineer in Berkeley Lab's Energy Technologies Area, notes titanium's use in a variety of everyday products, from eyeglasses to paint.

"In our group, we study the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide—that is, its ability to accelerate chemical reactions induced by light," Destaillats says. Titanium has applications in photocatalytic air cleaners that improve indoor air quality, for example, and self-cleaning construction materials for roofs and walls.

In 2019, the periodic table turned 150 years old, and Berkeley Lab scientists are credited with discovering 16 of its elements, including neptunium and seaborgium. Learn more at the Lab's International Year of the Periodic Table site.