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Photocatalytic Oxidation of Sulfur Mustard and Its Simulant on BODIPY-Incorporated Polymer Coatings and Fabrics

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journal contribution
posted on 16.05.2018, 00:00 by Hui Wang, George W. Wagner, Annie Xi Lu, Dominique L. Nguyen, James H. Buchanan, Patrick M. McNutt, Christopher J. Karwacki
Sulfur mustard is one of the most toxic chemical warfare agents worldwide. We report the use of 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY) photosensitizers as a fast and effective sulfur mustard decontaminant and their incorporation into various polymer coatings and fabrics, including army combat uniform. These BODIPY-embedded materials are capable of generating singlet oxygen under visible light irradiation and effectively detoxifying sulfur mustard by converting it into nontoxic sulfoxides as the major products. The rate of decontamination is found to be affected by the photosensitizer structure and concentration as well as the excitation wavelength. The most effective BODIPY-embedded self-decontamination material observed in this study shows a half-life of only 0.8 min. In comparison to the current methods, which use activated carbon as the adsorbent layer, these self-detoxifying coatings and fabrics provide constant destruction of and real-time protection against sulfur mustard.