Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, College of Bioresources Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shaanxi, Xi'an, 710021, China; National Demonstration Center for Experimental Light Chemistry Engineering Education, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Shaanxi, Xi'an, 710021, China. Electronic address: [Email]
To prepare antibacterial cotton fabrics with laundering durability, an organic-inorganic P(DMDAAC-AGE)/Ag/ZnO composite was synthesized by free radical polymerization where the epoxy groups were utilized to form covalent bonds with the hydroxyl groups of cotton fabrics. The surface morphology, crystal phase and chemical structure of the obtained P(DMDAAC-AGE)/Ag/ZnO composite were characterized by XRD, FT-IR and TEM measurements. The resulting P(DMDAAC-AGE)/Ag/ZnO composite-functionalized cotton fabrics exhibited outstanding antibacterial activity and excellent laundering durability. In the antibacterial tests, the bacteriostatic reduction rate was greater than 99.75%, and remained over 99.00% even after 11 washing cycles (equivalent to 55 commercial or domestic laundering cycles). The antibacterial mechanism was also investigated, partly including release of ions and photocatalysis. Moreover, the coated cotton fabric possessed excellent anti-mildew performance and also maintained the basic properties of cotton fabric. These results suggest that the modified cotton fabrics may find potential applications in a wide variety of areas such as sportswears, socks, and medical textiles.