High Speed Water Sterilization Using One-Dimensional Nanostructures

David T. Schoen, Alia P. Schoen, Liangbing Hu, Han Sun Kim, Sarah C. Heilshorn, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


The removal of bacteria and other organisms from water is an extremely important process, not only for drinking and sanitation but also industrially as biofouling is a commonplace and serious problem. We here present a textile based multiscale device for the high speed electrical sterilization of water using silver nanowires, carbon nanotubes, and cotton. This approach, which combines several materials spanning three very different length scales with simple dying based fabrication, makes a gravity fed device operating at 100000 L/(h m2) which can inactivate >98% of bacteria with only several seconds of total incubation time. This excellent performance is enabled by the use of an electrical mechanism rather than size exclusion, while the very high surface area of the device coupled with large electric field concentrations near the silver nanowire tips allows for effective bacterial inactivation. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3628-3632
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 8 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-I1-001-12
Acknowledgements: D.T.S. acknowledges support from the NDSEG and NSF GRFP fellowship programs. A.P.S. acknowledges support from the Stanford Bio-X graduate fellowship program. The work was made possible by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Investigator Award (No. KUS-I1-001-12).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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