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Machine-Washable Smart Textiles with Photothermal and Antibacterial Activities from Nanocomposite Fibers of Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles and Polyacrylonitrile

1
School of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Institute of Energy Converting Soft Materials, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea
2
Industry Academic-Cooperation Foundation, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea
3
School of Chemical Engineering and SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology (SAINT), Suwon 16419, Korea
4
UNIST Central Research Facilities and School of Natural Science, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Korea
5
Department of Fashion Design, College of Art, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010016
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 22 December 2018
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Abstract

Smart textiles based on conjugated polymers have been highlighted as promising fabrics that can intelligently respond to environmental stimuli based on the electrical properties of polymer semiconductors. However, there has been limited interest in the photothermal properties of conjugated polymers that can be applied to smart textiles. We prepared nanoparticles by assembling a conjugated polymer with a fatty acid via an emulsion process and nanocomposite fibers by distributing the conjugated polymer nanoparticles in a polyacrylonitrile matrix. We then fabricated the textiles using the fibers. The resulting fabrics based on nanocomposite fibers show a temperature increase to 50 °C in 10 min under white light irradiation because of efficient photothermal conversion by the conjugated polymer light harvester, while the temperature of a pristine polyacrylonitrile fabric increases to only 35 °C. In addition, excellent antimicrobial activity was confirmed by a 99.9% decrease in the populations of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli over 24 h because of the effect of the fatty acid in the nanocomposite films and fabrics. Furthermore, the fabric showed efficient durability after a laundry test, suggesting the usefulness of these smart textiles based on conjugated polymer nanoparticles for practical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart textiles; smart fabrics; conjugated polymer nanoparticles; photothermal conversion; antimicrobial fibers; polyacrylonitrile; nanocomposite fibers smart textiles; smart fabrics; conjugated polymer nanoparticles; photothermal conversion; antimicrobial fibers; polyacrylonitrile; nanocomposite fibers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lee, D.; Sang, J.S.; Yoo, P.J.; Shin, T.J.; Oh, K.W.; Park, J. Machine-Washable Smart Textiles with Photothermal and Antibacterial Activities from Nanocomposite Fibers of Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles and Polyacrylonitrile. Polymers 2019, 11, 16.

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