Through tests with Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, the researchers find that the antibacterial effect of zinc nanoparticles comes up to over 99.99%, which equals to that of silver nanoparticles but with a lower price and a good light transmission, and therefore they can be used to make glass panels.The research findings are published in Scientific Reports, a sister network journal of Nature.
The researchers also put some titanium nanoparticles between zinc nanoparticles and glass panels to enhance their adhesion. The test result shows that this new technology makes the adhesion of zinc nanoparticles not easily affected by touches, and at the same time maintain 90% of its transparency. Prof. Yun Sun-gil points out that this new technology is expected to be applied in mass production in 2 to 3 years.
As the touch screens of smart phones may be tainted with a variety of bacteria for frequent contacts with hands and faces, their transparent panels are generally coated with silver, copper and zinc nanoparticles to resist these bacteria. Silver nanoparticles are commonly used for their good antibacterial effect, but their cohesion is low and they are apt to lose their cohesion with frequent touches.