This study describes a method derived from ISO/TC 206/SC specifications to assess the bactericidal activity against a bacterial strain, Pseudomonas fluorescens, of various photocatalytic fabrics, under UVA and filtered visible light. The experimental method allowed the accurate quantification of bacteria survival on photoactive surfaces and films under UVA and UV-free visible irradiation. Cotton fabrics coated with TiO2, anthraquinone or anthraquinone-sensitized TiO2 display a significant bactericidal efficiency. TiO2-coated fabrics are very efficient against P. fluorescens after 4 h UVA irradiation (bacteria survival below the detection limit). Under UVA-free visible light, anthraquinone-sensitized TiO2 coated fabrics induced a significant bactericidal activity after 2 h irradiation, while anthraquinone alone-coated fabrics were not as efficient and TiO2 coated fabrics were almost inefficient. These results show that although exhibiting a weak n-π* band in the 350-420 nm range, anthraquinone is a good candidate as an efficient visible light photosensitizer. A synergy effect between anthraquinone and TiO2 was demonstrated. A possible reaction mechanism, involving a synergy effect for singlet oxygen formation with anthraquinone-sensitized TiO2 is proposed to account for these results. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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