Electrospun dual-layer mats with covalently bonded ZnO nanoparticles for moisture wicking and antibacterial textiles

The fast growing demand for advanced sportswear suitable for tropical countries has led to research on fabrics with both moisture wicking and anti-bacterial properties. In this work, to improve the water transport behaviour, dual-layer nanofibrous nonwoven mats composed of a hydrophilic polyacrylonitrile (PAN) outer layer and a hydrophobic poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) inner layer are fabricated by electrospinning. The distinct difference in surface hydrophobicity between the inner and outer layers induces a push-pull effect to transport water from the inner to the outer surface efficiently. To render an antibacterial property, zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles are covalently attached to the PVDF nanofibers. The good anti-wash properties and anti-bacterial function of the ZnO-PDVF/PAN dual layer mats are demonstrated.