Paper documents and products are very susceptible to microbial contamination and damage. Fungi are mainly responsible for those biodeterioration processes. Traditional microbicidal strategies constitute a serious health risk even when microbes are dead. Ideal methods should not be toxic to humans and should have no adverse effects on paper, but should own a broad spectrum, good chemical stability and low cost. In this work, we utilize an advanced antimicrobial strategy of surface stereochemistry by applying a coating of a shallow layer of polyborneolacrylate (PBA), resulting in the desired antifungal performance. The PBA-coated paper is challenged with the most common air-borne fungi growing on paper, Aspergillus niger
sp. Ten percent by weight of the coating concentration or a 19-μm infiltration of PBA is sufficient to keep the paper spotless. The PBA coating also exhibits significant inhibition of spores’ germination. After PBA coating, both physicochemical properties (paper whiteness, pH, mechanical strength) and inking performance display only slight changes, which are acceptable for general utilization. This PBA coating method is nontoxic, rapid and cost-effective, thus demonstrating great potential for applications in paper products.
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