Functional cotton fibers have a wide range of applications in domestic, commercial, and military settings, and so enhancing the properties of these materials can yield substantial benefits. Herein, we report the creation of functional fibers that are self-cleaning, anti-microbial, and protective against UV radiation. A uniform, and high surface area films of TiO2 were deposited on cotton fibers and gold/silver nanoparticles were directly incorporated on the nanostructured TiO2 surface. The synthetic method is simple and the produced TiO2 film is homogenous and the nanoparticles were shown to be effectively distributed on the surface using a simple photocatalytic reduction method. The Ag/Au-TiO2 coated fibers was morphologically characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS), and the self-cleaning properties of noble metal nanoparticle/TiO2 coated fibers were demonstrated by repeated staining followed by exposure to simulated solar light. The 1 mM Ag-TiO2 coated fabric was observed to have the largest improvement in rate of stain extinction compared to the untreated fibers with a methylene blue stain, and the 1 mM Au-TiO2 coated fibers were observed to have the largest improvement versus untreated fibers when stained with Congo red. The fibers maintained consistent photocatalytic activity over multiple cycles, and the resistance of the Ag/Au-TiO2 coated cotton to degradation was verified using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). An efficient anti-microbial activity of the fibers was confirmed by exposure of the fibers to bacterial culture (Escherichia Coli) and direct observation of antimicrobial activity.
Jaksik, Jared, et al. "Advanced cotton fibers exhibit efficient photocatalytic self-cleaning and antimicrobial activity." Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 365 (2018): 77-85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotochem.2018.07.037
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Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry