Antismog and antiviral nanocoat

By Phil Plait | June 6, 2007 8:24 pm

If this weren’t a Cornell University press release, I’d think it was a joke: using nanoparticles electrostatically placed on fabric fibers, a woman has created a (high fashion!) coat that can disable bacteria, viruses, and even oxidize smog, rendering it harmless.

<Homer>MMMMMmmmmmm, shiny nanoparticle encrusted fibers manipulated to diffract light to make the material reflective and control the color.</Homer>

I mean, wow. Cool! But there’s one problem: it’s on the pricey side, at $10,000 per square yard. But that’s only $1100 per square foot, or, lessee… eight and a half bucks a square inch. That’s about a dollar per square centimeter! A bargain!

Now if we could make one that would render creationists and global warming deniers harmless…

Tip of the very tiny chapeau to Boing Boing.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Humor

Comments (23)

Links to this Post

  1. The Squid Zone | June 7, 2007
  1. carn

    Just so you know, the 90 mph winds that are freaking my dog out are extremely unusual. I haven’t seen anything like this, ever. I actually didn’t know that hurricane-power winds were possible in a regular dry wind storm. Then again, what do I know?

  2. ABR

    Okay, since someone else brought it up first…if you think the 80MPH winds are fun, just wait for that 2-3 feet of snow during the last week of “summer”. Speaking of wind, Google Wondervu (just SW of Boulder) and 119MPH.

  3. A few square cms would be all you’d need for a surgical mask, or maybe someone infected with a contagion could wear one and be cared for without infecting nurses, family members, etc. For just a few dollars!

  4. Quiet Desperation

    Make drapes out of them to protect from biowar attacks. :)

  5. Quiet Desperation

    …or a condom

  6. Borat’s bathing suit was made from this material.

  7. CS

    A “smog-eating” paint which seems to effectively absorb pollution was used on a church in Rome

  8. moopet

    Well, I wouldn’t mind if more women spent $100 on such an outfit…

  9. Marlayna

    [housewife mode]
    Can I wash it in the washing machine?
    [/housewife mode]

    I’m not sure it’s really all that effective. Rather than spend all this money on a coat, simple hygiene will protect you from most bacteria and viruses. And as for the smog – how many such coats would we need to neutralize it? It’s not like we’ve solved our problem. Less pollution is what we should aim for.

  10. gerrsun

    I know I have seen those clothes before adn then it hit me, the disco scene from Buck Rogers where everyone was dancing aroung with track lighting.

    Hooray! We have the fashion sense of people from the 25th century….TODAY!!

    I welcome the coming apocalypse and wish the future sentient species well.

  11. the money that could be made making a hat out of that stuff to protect the wearer from government mind control rays…

  12. Dunc

    There’s one other problem – it’s not actually your clothes that are at risk from bacteria, viruses, and smog.

  13. icemith

    CS at 10:41 pm links to a site which uses “smog-eating paint”, and effects pollutants close by. Does graffiti qualify as a pollutant? If so, then there’s a way to effectively rub it out, at least within a short time after it was created.

    Well, at least ’till some whiz kid develops a long persistence paint, as usually happens in an “I can out-smart you” syndrone.


  14. MKR

    There’s already a material that does that – it’s a mix of a burlap sack, rope, a bucket, water, and quick-dry cement. :)

  15. Ruth

    MKR, if that was in answer to BAs question then you and I are on the same track :o)

  16. Quiet_Desperation

    >>> Well, I wouldn’t mind if more women spent $100 on such an outfit…

    Really? I thought they were about as sexy as a traffic accident. And I’m a veteran of the BDSM scene where the outfits could get really wacky.

  17. Gary Ansorge

    Now if we can just get 6 billion people to cough up $ 10,000 apiece, smog will just disappear. See? Science can solve all problems,,,(Now, where’s that dang smiley face?).

    I’m still waiting for my nano-coated, invisibility cloak. (I mean one that’s affordable). Then I can surreptitiously throw pies at politicians,,,

    Gary 7

  18. I can’t help but wonder how much smog is produced making that stuff…

  19. Quiet_Desperation

    >>> I can’t help but wonder how much smog is produced making that stuff…

    Google on the pollution created in the manufacture of hybrid car batteries some time. There’s a whole hidden dark side to the Prius. :)

  20. Gaijin51

    I like the gold leggings! Sexy mostly depends on who wears it.

    Would it still be $10,000 a yard if they mass-produced it, though?
    Usually hi-tech stuff starts out expensive but gradually gets cheaper as time passes.

  21. Buzz Parsec

    Squid Zone said: “Someone has invented cloth that doesn’t need to be washed, can kill viruses and bacteria, and clean up smog.”

    Wasn’t that the plot of a 1950’s Alec Guinness movie called “The Man in the White Suit?”

  22. icemith

    Buzz, was that the, as I remember it, B&W British movie in which this “everlasting” suit material, (spoiler coming), couldn’t resist being out in the rain?

    Thanks for helping me (hopefully) find that movie again.



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