Composite coating with antifouling and antibacterial properties

Scientists have presented Polyaniline/graphite carbon nitride composite coatings with outstanding photo-induced anodic antifouling and antibacterial properties under visible light.

Petri dishes with bacterial cultures.
The ZnO–rGO coatings exhibited high activity against the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Image source: branislavp (symbol image).

Self-cleaning antifouling coatings are needed for many applications, motivating the search for low cost coatings with good antifouling and antibacterial properties and minimal impact to the environment. Now polyaniline-graphitic carbon nitride (PANI/g-C3N4) composites were prepared by a simple physical blending method, then added to an acrylic resin to obtain antifouling coating formulations. Under visible light irradiation (λ > 420 nm), the PANI/g-C3N4 coatings offered excellent photo-induced anodic antifouling/antibacterial properties, with the optimum weight ratio of PANI:g-C3N4 in the coatings determined to be 1:9.

Excellent antibacterial activity

Antibacterial experiments demonstrated that the PANI/g-C3N4 coatings offered excellent antibacterial activity towards E. coli (96.5 % inhibition efficiency) and S. aureus (95.3 % inhibition efficiency) under visible light. Based on the antifouling experiments and detailed chemical/electrochemical characterization studies, a plausible mechanism for the photo-induced anodic antifouling/antibacterial activity of the composite coatings was proposed.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 154, May 2021.

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