A team of researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia led by Indian scientist Dr. Rajesh Ramanathan, have developed technology that can make textiles clean themselves within less than 6 minutes, when put under a light bulb or out in the sun.
The research team has developed a low-cost technology to grow special nanostructures that can degrade organic matter when exposed to light – directly onto textiles.
According to the main researcher, Rajesh Ramanathan the advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles.
They worked with copper and silver-based nanostructures, which are known for their ability to absorb visible light. These nanostructures receive an energy boost when exposed to light, which leads to the creation of hot electrons that release energy and degrade the organic matter. Thus, when exposed to light it took less than 6 minutes for some of the nano-enhanced textiles to spontaneously clean by themselves.
The next step is to test the nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine. Though a long way from becoming a reality the team says, “Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine”.
May be few years down the line the people will be relieved of one more task of washing the clothes and can just get clean clothes by hanging in sun.