Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor from Texas Tech University, USA reported that Australian researchers have developed semiconductor super hydrophobic functional fabrics.
A team of Australian researchers from Queensland University of Technology, RMIT University and two CSIRO units have developed functional fabrics that are semiconductors and could repel oil and water. The fabric separated crude oil, olive oil and dichloromethane from water.
The scientists used silver interwoven nylon fabric and coated copper on to it, to start with. This semiconductor fabric undergoes immediate chemical reaction when coated with a chemical solution of tetracyanoanthraquinodimethane referred to TCNAQ. This process creates charge transfer complex of copper and TCNAQ, which results in nano rough surfaces all through the fabric making it superhydrophobic.
According to the lead scientist of the study, Anthony O’Mullane, associate professor at the Queensland University of Technology, the fabrics are multifunctional, antibacterial and semiconductive. O’Mullane stated, “Because it is semi-conductor, it can interact with visible light to degrade organic pollutants.”
Researchers claim that a variety of applications are possible such as separating water from industrial sludge, decontaminating water and killing bugs.
According to the researchers, the next step is to test the scalability and mechanical robustness of the coated fabric.