Graphene Facemask to Deactivate Coronaviruses and Bacteria
Graphene Facemask to Deactivate Coronaviruses and Bacteria

Researchers at the City University of Hong Kong have developed a face mask containing laser-induced graphene that can kill bacteria and has demonstrated potential in deactivating coronaviruses. The graphene layer has antibacterial properties and can generate heat when exposed to sunlight, which may underlie its ability to deactivate coronaviruses. The researchers hope that such masks could help to reduce viral transmission and infection during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Face masks are an important part of our arsenal in the fight against COVID-19, but if used incorrectly, they can pose an infection risk. Viral particles can settle on the mask and, if touched or disposed of inappropriately, could potentially infect someone. A mask that can deactivate viral particles or other pathogens on its surface would be very useful right now. Moreover, the sheer volume of masks currently being used, and the fact that many are not reusable, is an environmental issue. Reusable masks could help to make mask wearing a more sustainable activity.

To address these issues, the Hong Kong researchers have developed a mask made using laser-induced graphene. They produced the material by passing an infrared laser over a carbon-containing polyimide film, which results in a porous graphene layer. Graphene has antibacterial properties, which are not completely understood, but it can also generate heat when exposed to light, helping with decontamination. Read more…

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