NANOSTRUCTURED ANTIBACTERIAL SILVER DEPOSITED ON POLYPROPYLENE NONWOVENS
Nanostructured silver films were deposited on polypropylene (PP) nonwovens by RF magnetron sputter coating to obtain the antibacterial properties. Shake flask test was used to evaluate the antibacterial properties of the materials. Atomic force microscope (AFM) was utilized to observe the surface morphology. Energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) was also employed to analyze the surface elemental compositions. The antibacterial results indicated that the prolonged deposition time led to a significant improvement in antibacterial effect, and sputtering power and argon pressure did not show obvious effect on antibacterial performance. It is believed that the total amount of silver ions released from the silver coating was increased as the deposition time increased. AFM images and quantitative analysis of EDX, respectively revealed that increase in deposition time led to the increased coverage of silver film and the increased silver weight percentage per unit surface, which provided evidences for the increased release rate of silver ions from the coating. Moreover, it was found that the optimum silver coating thickness was about 3 nm, taking antibacterial effect and cost of production into account.
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