New fabric can self-clean

Imagine jeans, sweaters and socks, which can themselves be clear, when hanging on the clothesline in the sun or on the balcony railings. Scientists report the development of a new cotton fabric, which makes it all real. New fabric can itself be cleaned of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight.

Mings long and Dang Bai say that their fabric uses a coating made from a compound of titanium dioxide, the white material used in everything from white paint to food. Titanium dioxide is able to break down dirt and kill germs upon contact with certain types of light. This material has already been used in self-cleaning Windows, kitchen and bathroom in the form of tiles and other products. Self-cleaning cotton fabrics were made in the distant past, say the authors, but they can clean themselves of dirt and bacteria under the influence of ultraviolet rays. Thus, scientists have begun to develop a new cotton fabric that cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight.

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Their report describes cotton fabric coated nanoparticles of compounds of titanium dioxide and nitrogen. Scientists show that the fabric is coated with these materials, removes stains when exposed to sunlight. The nanoparticles consist of silver and iodine, which speeds up the process of color change. The coating remains intact after washing and drying.

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