At a distance, this mesh doesn’t look like much, and that’s kind of the point. Researchers in the labs of Xianfeng Wang and Bin Ding at Donghua University wanted to make a mask fabric that could filter out pollutants but still be transparent enough to see a mask-wearer’s face. They developed this fabric by depositing electrically charged nanosized fibers of polyacrylonitrile on a mesh made of overlapping hexagons of nylon 6 (micrograph below). The fibers mainly stay on the mesh material, but also fill in little cavities, allowing for thin, breathable masks that can filter out more than 80% of PM0.3 pollution while enabling facial recognition.
A transparent, breathable mask
Credit: Chao Wang. Read the ACS Nano paper here.
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