Fabrication of Visible Light-Induced Antibacterial and Self-Cleaning Cotton Fabrics Using Manganese Doped TiO2 Nanoparticles

Ordinary textiles are very often malodorous and the origin of cross-infection. Their microclimate, consisting of moisture, contaminants, and sweat, provides favorable conditions for microbial growth. Therefore, simple approaches of surface modification using functional materials are widely adopted to introduce antibacterial properties. This study reports a simple and low cost technique that renders cotton fabrics antibacterial. Manganese (Mn)-doped photocatalytic titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles of ∼150 nm average diameter have been prepared by sol gel and applied on textile fabrics using a silicone binder. The treated fabrics displayed 100% reduction of Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (Gram-negative) populations within 120 min under sunlight, demonstrating first order of reduction kinetics. Moreover, the functionalized fabrics demonstrated complete degradation of a methylene blue (MB) dye adsorbed on their surface, under both UV and visible light irradiation, turning them white. A similar effect was observed when the treated fabrics were immersed in a MB dye solution and subsequently irradiated. Here, the cotton fabrics functionalized with Mn-doped TiO2 nanoparticles were able to discolour the dissolved MB dye, demonstrating a water purification effect. In addition, the modified fabrics were resistant to several laundry cycles. Physical properties like mechanical strength, color, breathability, and aesthetic of the treated cotton fabrics remained unchanged. The modified cotton fabrics can be envisioned as antibacterial, antiodorous, and self-cleaning textiles for sports, medical uses, uniforms, fashion, home furnishing, and leisure activities. Finally, the treated textiles were found to be biocompatible.