#nanotechnology #smartextiles #textilescience #nanomaterials #nanofibers #carbonblack #nanoparticle

Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field of applied sciences (biology, chemistry & physics), technology (computer programming) and engineering (design & electronics) (Qian, 2004). Nanotechnology is a promising scientific area that develops smaller, lighter, faster and cheaper products that can perform multiple functions in a much more clever way while at the same time consuming less energy and materials. The ubiquitous nature of nanotechnology has benefited many areas of research and development – from medicine to manufacturing, material science, computing, cosmetics, optics, energy, etc. This emerging industry has already proven its constructive solutions to various long-standing medical and environmental issues. For instance molecular manufacturing could solve many of the world’s problems likewise, the constant demand of more advanced devices for health monitoring and treatment, the water storage, infectious diseases and hundreds of others.

Various textile manufacturers have already begun to use nanomaterial in their products and because nanofibers and nanoparticles have such unique properties they are able to design excellent fabrics with extreme strength, durability and resistance. These nano-enhanced fabrics could be used in medicine, military or construction. This new generation of textile fibers (often referred to as "smart textiles") have improved functionality and a wide range of applications would most certainly improve the comfort and lifestyle of millions of people worldwide. Specifically, smart textiles are advanced materials that can adapt their functionality to environmental conditions or stimuli. For instance, some of the conditions that these materials could react and respond to are mechanical, electrical, chemical or thermal (Agrawal & Jassal, 2011). They can be used for technical applications such as bio-processing, biomedical, sensors, etc. 

During my graduate research assistantship, I had the opportunity to work as a textile science graduate research assistant where I performed textile science laboratory work on smart textiles and nanotechnology. During this time, I mastered my skills and knowledge in textile science technology for the advancement of textiles with greater performance, durability and resistance via novel applications of nanotechnology. One of the research projects dealt with testing various textile samples by applying SDCB (self-dispersible carbon black) nanoparticle and seeing how well the carbon nanodots adhere. In addition, I performed instrumental analysis using a TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) and FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) to enhance the research study. 


#naturaldyes #sustainabledyes #textilescience #colorfastness #persimmonnaturaldye #colorquest #AATCC #FTIR

The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world. With the rise of fast fashion, textile waste is filling our landfills. These textile materials are often made with harmful petroleum-based chemicals, which were left over from the dyeing process. The growing recognition of natural dyes have attracted a significant attention in the textile science field. Natural dyes tend to exhibit far better biodegradability than man made dyes. They are also non-toxic therefore, non-polluting and far less health hazardous. Natural dyes can be obtained from various sources such as plants, animals and microbes. Although microbial dyes have a slight advantage over plant and animal based dyes, microbial dyes are fast-growing and have the potential of being more easily standardized and mass produced. Although natural dyes are valued in the market, they are also known to lack colorfastness. Because natural dyes are more compatible with the environment, they are also more favored by environmentally friendly people across the world.

This preliminary research study was conducted during my first year of graduate studies at Colorado State University. For this study, I collaborated with one of the DM faculty and another graduate student. The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate the effect of different pH concentrations (pH 3, pH 6, and pH 10) on cotton and wool fabrics using persimmon natural dye. This research used a concentration of 200% for both cotton and wool samples. A special perspiration solution was prepared to which all samples were soaked for 30 ± 2 minutes and then exposed to high temperature in a standard perspiration oven. The performance was characterized using grey scales, color strength and appearance analysis (ColorQuest), American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists colorfastness tests, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).