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In ACS applied materials & interfaces ; h5-index 147.0

Surgical mask is recommended by the World Health Organization for personal protection against disease transmission. However, most of the surgical masks on the market are disposable that cannot be self-sterilized for reuse. Thus, when confronting the global public health crisis, a severe shortage of mask resource is inevitable. In this paper, a novel low-cost electrothermal mask with excellent self-sterilization performance and portability is reported to overcome this shortage. First, a flexible, ventilated, and conductive cloth tape is patterned and adhered to the surface of a filter layer made of melt-blown nonwoven fabrics (MNF), which functions as interdigital electrodes. Then, a graphene layer with premier electric and thermal conductivity is coated onto the MNF. Operating under a low voltage of 3 V, the graphene-modified MNF (mod-MNF) can quickly generate large amounts of heat to achieve a high temperature above 80 °C, which can kill the majority of known viruses attached to the filter layer and the mask surface. Finally, the optimized graphene-modified masks based on the mod-MNF filter retain a relatively high particulate matter (PM) removal efficiency and a low-pressure drop. Moreover, the electrothermal masks can maintain almost the same PM removal efficiency over 10 times of electrifying, suggesting its outstanding reusability.

Shan Xiaoli, Zhang Han, Liu Cihui, Yu Liyan, Di Yunsong, Zhang Xiaowei, Dong Lifeng, Gan Zhixing


COVID-19, electrothermal effect, graphene ink, self-sterilization, surgical masks