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Air pollution containing particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds has caused magnificent burdens on individual health and global economy. Although advances in highly efficient or multifunctional nanofiber filters have been achieved, many existing filters can only deal with one type of air pollutant, such as capturing PM or absorbing and detecting toxic gas. Here, highly efficient, dual-functional, self-assembled electrospun nanofiber (SAEN) filters were developed for simultaneous PM removal and onsite eye-readable formaldehyde sensing fabricated on a commercial fabric mask. With the use of an electrolyte solution containing a formaldehyde-sensitive colorimetric agent as a collector during electrospinning, the one-step fabrication of the dual-functional SAEN filter on commercial masks, such as a fabric mask and a daily disposable mask, was achieved. The electrolyte solution also allowed the uniform deposition of electrospun nanofibers, thereby achieving the high efficiency of PM filtration with an increased quality factor up to twice that of commercial masks. The SAEN filter enabled onsite and eye-readable formaldehyde gas detection by changing its color from yellow to red under a 5 ppm concentrated formaldehyde gas atmosphere. The repetitive fabrication and detachment of the SAEN filter on a fabric mask minimized the waste of the mask while maintaining high filtration efficiency by replenishing the SAEN filters and reusing the fabric mask. Given the dual functionality of SAEN filters, this process could provide new insights into designing and developing high performance and dual-functional electrospun nanofiber filters for various applications, including individual protection and indoor purification applications.Graphical Abstract[graphic not available: see fulltext]
Advanced Fiber Materials – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2023
Keywords: Electrospinning; Nanofiber; Self-assembly; PM removal; Formaldehyde sensing
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