Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Engineering Physics


The subject of this thesis is the synthesis and the characterization of new UVA-efficient nanostructured inorganic UV filters. In this context, we chose to study cerium dioxide (CeO2) and hematite (α-Fe2O3), most importantly because of their optical absorption properties. Two methods were selected to synthesise cerium dioxide and hematite in nanostructured powder form: the co-precipitation method and the spray-pyrolysis method. Cerium dioxide was studied in both non-doped and doped forms. Optimal synthesis conditions were determined by X-ray diffraction and thermal analysis. The crystalline structure and granulometry of the obtained samples were characterised by X-ray diffraction and electronic microscopy techniques. Granulometry and morphology of the samples are linked to: the synthesis method, the experimental conditions (atmosphere and temperature of calcinations), and the nature and concentrations of the dopes. The optical properties of ethanol suspended samples were studied by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. They are linked to the samples’granulometry as well as localised phenomena in the crystallographic lattice (valence changes, defects presence). Cerium dioxide- and hematite-based samples were finally incorporated in emulsion, instead of ZnO, in order to test their photoprotection performance (SPF and PF-UVA) by measuring in vitro. Results show that ZnO can be positively replaced by pure or doped cerium or iron oxide in sunscreen, when these are associated with the inorganic filter TiO2.