(p. D3) Scientists in Australia, one of the sunniest places on the planet, have discovered a way to rid clothes of stubborn stains by exposing them to sunlight, potentially replacing doing the laundry.
Working in a laboratory, the researchers embedded minute flecks of silver and copper–invisible to the naked eye–within cotton fabric. When exposed to light, the tiny metal particles, or nanostructures, released bursts of energy that degraded any organic matter on the fabric in as little as six minutes, said Rajesh Ramanathan, a postdoctoral fellow at RMIT University, in Melbourne.
The development, reported recently in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces, represents an early stage of research into nano-enhanced fabrics that have the ability to clean themselves, Dr. Ramanathan said. The tiny metal particles don’t change the look or feel of the fabric. They also stay on the surface of the garment even when it is rinsed in water, meaning they can be used over and over on new grime, he said.
For the full story, see:
RACHEL PANNETT. “An End to Laundry? The Promise of Self-Cleaning Fabric.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., April 26, 2016): D3.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date April 25, 2016.)
The academic article describing the self-cleaning fabric, is:
Anderson, Samuel R., Mahsa Mohammadtaheri, Dipesh Kumar, Anthony P. O’Mullane, Matthew R. Field, Rajesh Ramanathan, and Vipul Bansal. “Robust Nanostructured Silver and Copper Fabrics with Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Property for Effective Visible Light Induced Reductive Catalysis.” Advanced Materials Interfaces 3, no. 6 (2016): 1-8.