December 20, 2011
Chinese scientists have developed a special nano-particle coating. When applied to cotton, it causes the fabric to clean itself and remove odours if exposed to sunlight.
The alcohol-based compound is made with titanium dioxide. This is known to be an “excellent catalyst in the degradation of organic pollutants.” It breaks down dirt and kills microbes when exposed to some types of light.
Self-cleaning fabrics have been made in the past, but they only worked if exposed to ultraviolet rays. This new fabric cleans itself in the presence of ordinary sunlight.
The researchers say the method is cheap, non-toxic and ecologically friendly. Retail experts say the innovation could prove popular with retailers due to rising demand for “functional clothing”. The nano-particles remain embedded after washing and drying.
More information can be found in Applied Materials and Interfaces.