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Cotton fabric cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight

Date:
December 15, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Imagine jeans, sweats or socks that clean and deodorize themselves when hung on a clothesline in the sun or draped on a balcony railing. Scientists are reporting development of a new cotton fabric that does clean itself of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight.

Imagine jeans, sweats or socks that clean and de-odorize themselves when hung on a clothesline in the sun or draped on a balcony railing. Scientists are reporting development of a new cotton fabric that does clean itself of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight. Their report appears in the ACS' journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Mingce Long and Deyong Wu say their fabric uses a coating made from a compound of titanium dioxide, the white material used in everything from white paint to foods to sunscreen lotions. Titanium dioxide breaks down dirt and kills microbes when exposed to some types of light. It already has found uses in self-cleaning windows, kitchen and bathroom tiles, odor-free socks and other products. Self-cleaning cotton fabrics have been made in the past, the authors note, but they self-clean thoroughly only when exposed to ultraviolet rays. So they set out to develop a new cotton fabric that cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight.

Their report describes cotton fabric coated with nanoparticles made from a compound of titanium dioxide and nitrogen. They show that fabric coated with the material removes an orange dye stain when exposed to sunlight. Further dispersing nanoparticles composed of silver and iodine accelerates the discoloration process. The coating remains intact after washing and drying.

The authors acknowledge funding from Donghua University and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Deyong Wu, Mingce Long. Realizing Visible-Light-Induced Self-Cleaning Property of Cotton through Coating N-TiO2Film and Loading AgI Particles. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2011; 111121124220000 DOI: 10.1021/am201251d

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Cotton fabric cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214102856.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, December 15). Cotton fabric cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214102856.htm
American Chemical Society. "Cotton fabric cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214102856.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

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