Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #279667


Location: Food Science Research

Title: Multifunctional ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats by an electrospinning– electrospraying hybrid process for use in protective applications

item Vitchuli, Narendiran
item Shi, Quan
item Nowak, Joshua
item Kay, Kathryn
item Caldwell, Jane
item Breidt, Frederick
item Bourham, Mohamed
item Mccord, Marian
item Zhang, Xiangwu

Submitted to: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2011
Publication Date: 9/7/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: Vitchuli, N., Shi, Q., Nowak, J., Kay, K., Caldwell, J.M., Breidt, F., Bourham, M., McCord, M., Zhang, X. 2011. Multifunctional ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats by an electrospinning–electrospraying hybrid process for use in protective applications. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. 12 (2011) 055004; doi:10.1088/1468-6996/12/5/055004.

Interpretive Summary: Durable and useful antimicrobial fabrics have many uses, including hospital, laboratory, and military applications. New technologies are needed for the development of fabrics that have desirable properties of breathability and resistance to stresses. This manuscript describes a Nylon fabric made with nanofiber technology in which the antimicrobial compound is added to the fabric as the fabric is being manufactured. The technology involved combining an electro-spraying of the antimicrobial agent (zinc oxide nano-prticles) with an the electro-spinning process (Nylon nano-fibers) for forming a antimicrobial fabric. The antimicrobial properties of the fabric were also tested, and it was found that the resulting fiber effectively killed strains of the two major types of pathogenic bacteria. The results detail the construction method for the fiber and also that the fiber has promising characteristics for protective applications.

Technical Abstract: ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats were prepared by an electrospinning–electrospraying hybrid process in which ZnO nanoparticles were dispersed on the surface of Nylon 6 nanofibers without becoming completely embedded. The prepared ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats were evaluated for their abilities to kill bacteria or inhibit their growth and to catalytically detoxify chemicals. Results showed that these ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats had excellent antibacterial efficiency (99.99%) against both the Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Bacillus cereus bacteria. In addition, they exhibited good detoxifying efficiency (95%) against paraoxon, a simulant of highly toxic chemicals. ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats were also deposited onto nylon/cotton woven fabrics and the nanofiber mats did not significantly affect the moisture vapor transmission rates and air permeability values of the fabrics. Therefore, ZnO/Nylon 6 nanofiber mats prepared by the electrospinning–electrospraying hybrid process are promising material candidates for protective applications.