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Soon, clothes that clean themselves with light
The day when you can look tidy even without washing your clothes does not seem too distant as researchers, including one of Indian origin, have developed a technology to make textiles clean themselves within less than six minutes when put them under a light bulb or out in the sun.
The researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a cheap and efficient new way to grow special nanostructures -- which can degrade organic matter when exposed to light -- directly onto textiles.
"There's more work to do to before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles," said researcher Rajesh Ramanathan.
The research paper was published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.
The work paves the way towards nano-enhanced textiles that can spontaneously clean themselves of stains and grime simply by being put under light.
The process developed by the team had a variety of applications for catalysis-based industries such as agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and natural products, and could be easily scaled up to industrial levels, Ramanathan said.
"The advantage of textiles is they already have a 3D structure so they are great at absorbing light, which in turn speeds up the process of degrading organic matter," he explained.
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