Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) has successfully developed an anti-viral surface coating material that is highly effective on non-pathogenic viruses and is non-toxic, environment-friendly, and transparent.
Many existing anti-viral coatings that seem to inactivate the viruses use copper or silver ions as the main element, but that makes them difficult to realize from the environment and design aspects because copper is a known toxic material and is non-transparent, which means it would be very challenging to use it for indoor usage.
The design/aesthetic aspects are also hugely compromised due to copper and silver's opaque nature, turning the coated surface non-transparent, which is often non-practical.
Moreover, it is desirable to have simple preparation steps using a cost-effective, scalable fabrication technique for synthesizing the anti-viral surface coating to ensure smooth transition from the laboratory scale to the industry.
Apart from having shown promising results with its antiviral activity, what makes this innovative coating stand apart is the fact that it is transparent, non-toxic, and uses elements that are abundantly available in nature, making it environment-friendly too.
While the non-toxic and essential elements of non-stoichiometric amorphous titanium oxide, having a higher presence in the earth’s crust, used in synthesizing this coating make it sustainable and anti-viral; the scalable Radio Frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering fabrication technique at room temperature results into its cost-effectiveness.
Besides, it is about 45 nanometer thick which can easily blend on all kinds of surfaces.
The coating is found to be durable, chemically stable and has strong adhesiveness with that of the substrate. This can be coated easily on different indoor and outdoor substrates, ranging from glass, metal, steel, silicon, and Teflon; which means it can be very useful to apply on objects like glass windows, glass doors, wooden and plastic furniture, doorknobs, handles, household appliances, electronics, vehicles, and automobiles, among others.