Multi-Functional Cotton Fabrics with Self-Assembled TiO2 Nanoparticle Seed/TiO2 Nanorod/ZnO Nanoparticle/ Stearic Acid Nanotechnological Architectures
With the intricate day-to-day lives of the modern people, simple and time-efficient accessories are always needed to make their daily routine more convenient and comfortable. When it comes to the garment materials, it would be particularly important to have low energy and less time consuming ways to turn them cleaner. Herein, this work has introduced a novel method to manufacture multi-functional textiles, possessing antimicrobial, self-cleaning and super-hydrophobic properties via a nano-technological approach. Titanium dioxide nano-rods and Zinc oxide nanoparticles together with self-assembled stearic acid molecules had been used as the nano-technological components to give these multi-functional properties for cotton fabric. The method was very simple and low cost, which makes it up-scalable and reliable in the industrial avenue. In order to characterize those nanomaterials, X-Ray diffractometry, X-Ray Fluoresce, Scanning Electron microscopy, UVVisible spectroscopy and FT-IR methods were used. Conventional microbiological methods were used to investigate their antimicrobial properties. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were used to test the antimicrobial property as they represent, respectively, Gram-negative and Gram-positive Bacteria. The water contact angles were measured with optical imaging to determine the super-hydrophobicity. As a photo-catalyst, TiO2 nano-structures has an excellent ability to digest many organic substances by making reactive oxygen species produced by excited electrons in the conduction band and through highly oxidizing holes remaining in the valence band. ZnO nanoparticles also act in a similar manner through photo-catalysis and kill the microbial cells by destroying the organic components in the cell membrane. The protrude-like structures of these modified ZnO nano-structures can penetrate the bacterial cells and destroy them even in the dark. Likewise, the entire system made a better platform to turn a regular textile material into a super-hydrophobic, self-cleaning and anti-microbial fabric with a simple modification. As such, these textiles were capable of performing multiple functions due to this surface modification without losing its typical properties such as comfort for wear and hand feel.