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When exposed to light, it took less than six minutes for some of the nano-enhanced textiles to spontaneously clean themselves.

"Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine," Ramanathan said.

 

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Cotton textile covered with nanostructures invisible to the naked eye. Image magnified 200 times. Credit: RMIT University

When the nanostructures are exposed to light, they receive an energy boost that creates "hot electrons". These "hot electrons" release a burst of energy that enables the nanostructures to degrade organic matter.

The challenge for researchers has been to bring the concept out of the lab by working out how to build these nanostructures on an industrial scale and permanently attach them to textiles.

The RMIT team's novel approach was to grow the nanostructures directly onto the textiles by dipping them into a few solutions, resulting in the development of stable nanostructures within 30 minutes.

 

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The red color indicates the presence of silver nanoparticles -- the total coverage on the image shows the nanostructures grown by the RMIT team are present throughout the textile. Image magnified 200 times. Credit: RMIT University

When exposed to light, it took less than six minutes for some of the nano-enhanced textiles to spontaneously clean themselves.

"Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine," Ramanathan said.

 

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Close-up of the nanostructures grown on cotton textiles by RMIT University researchers. Image magnified 150,000 times. Credit: RMIT University

The research is published on March 23, 2016 in the high-impact journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-03-nano-enhanced-textiles.html#jCp

 

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