Titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ), a well-known photocatalyst, was incorporated into poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) nanofibers via electrospinning to develop self-cleaning textile materials that can decompose organic contaminants and stains on the textile surface by light irradiation. TiO 2 /PVA nanocomposite fiber webs were prepared from PVA solutions that contained 5, 10, and 20 wt% TiO 2 nanoparticles. The morphologies and chemical compositions of the composite fibers were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and an energy dispersive X-ray analysis system. The TiO 2 /PVA nanocomposite fiber webs were thermally treated to increase their stability in an aqueous environment. To evaluate the self-cleaning performance, the fiber webs were saturated using a methylene blue dye solution and red wine. Different light sources, i.e., ultraviolet (UV) light, visible light, and fluorescent light, were used to examine their effects on the photocatalytic self-cleaning activities of the TiO 2 /PVA nanocomposite fiber webs. The color changes of the methylene blue and red wine stains on the fiber webs were assessed with the time of light exposure over a period of 24 h. The results depicted that the decomposition rates of the methylene blue and red wine stains by the fiber webs varied in the order of fluorescent light < visible light < UV light. Generally, the decomposition rate increased by increasing the time of light exposure and the TiO 2 concentration. Our findings demonstrated the self-cleaning performance of the electrospun composite fibers containing TiO 2 nanoparticles not only under UV light but also under visible and fluorescent light that are commonly used indoors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2010-0013511); and the Brain Korea 21 Plus Project of Dept. of Clothing and Textiles, Yonsei University in 2018.
© 2019, The Korean Fiber Society, The Korea Science and Technology Center.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Polymers and Plastics