Thursday, June 8, 2017

NC State show ALD enhanced zirconia MOFs for protective clothing against chemical weapons

ScienceDaily reports: Since their first use in World War I and most recently by the Assad regime in Syria, chemical weapons with devastating potential have been developed. Therefore scientists have begun exploring the use of zirconium-based metal-organic framework (MOF) powders to degrade and destroy these harmful compounds.
  • Zirconium Asists in neutralizing toxic materials. 
  • MOF powders are unstable and incorporating them onto clothing has proven challenging. 
Therefore Dennis Lee, Gregory N. Parsons et al has investigated growth of MOFs onto fabric at room temperature, which potentially could realize protection by being coated on to uniforms and other protective clothing.


The researchers developed a process were the a fine fabric (nonwoven) commonly used in reusable shopping bags and some clothing is exposed polypropylene, followed by another exposure to a to a mixture consisting of a zirconium-based MOF, a solvent and two binding agents.

Finally, to make sure that the active zirconia MOF-coating spread evenly across the cloth, they treated the fabrics with thin ALD layers of aluminum, titanium or zinc oxide. They tested this combination with dimethyl 4-nitrophenyl phosphate (DMNP), a relatively harmless molecule that has similar reactivity as sarin, soman and other nerve agents.

They found that the MOF-treated cloths deactivated DMNP (a Sarin like compound) in less than 5 minutes, suggesting this process is a viable means to create improved protective clothing.


References:

American Chemical Society. "New fabric coating could thwart chemical weapons, save lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170607123930.htm.

Dennis T. Lee, Junjie Zhao, Gregory W. Peterson, Gregory N. Parsons. Catalytic “MOF-Cloth” Formed via Directed Supramolecular Assembly of UiO-66-NH2 Crystals on Atomic Layer Deposition-Coated Textiles for Rapid Degradation of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants. Chemistry of Materials, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00949