Turkish Journal of Chemistry




This work reports the surface modification of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers by graft copolymerization to ensure the decoration of homogenous and dense Ag nanoparticles. Two facile and subsequent modification processes resulted in a PAN fiber composite with an intact fibrous structure, sufficiently conductive for antistatic application and antibacterial activity. In the first step, some chemically attractive monomers and monomer mixtures, such as acrylic acid (AA), AA-itaconic acid (AA-IA), AA-acrylamide (AA-AAm), were introduced to the fiber surface by grafting. The grafting process was evidenced by FTIR, 1H-NMR, and SEM techniques. The second step aimed to form a chelate structure by Ag + ions with the coordination centers imparted to the PAN structure, and then, Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) were decorated on the copolymer fiber surfaces by reducing with the NaBH4. The presence, distribution, and changes that occurred after the AgNPs decoration were also monitored by the SEM technique. It was obtained that the AgNPs could not be easily removed from the composites, which presented an appearance as if they were dyed with Ag. It was determined that the composite fibers gained a certain degree of conductivity with the surface resistivity value of 109-102 Ω/cm2. The antibacterial activity of the composites against E. coli and S. aureus was examined by the zone of inhibition test compared to their detergent-washed samples.

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