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Silk is a widely available, edible, biocompatible, and environmentally sustainable natural material. Particulate matter (PM) pollution has drawn considerable attention because it is a serious threat to public health. Herein, we report a human-friendly silk nanofiber air filter, which exhibits superior filtration efficiency for both PM2.5 and submicron particles with obviously low pressure drop and low basis weight compared to typical commercial microfiber air filters. Additionally, other functions such as antibacterial activity could be easily integrated into the silk nanofiber air filters, enabling the fabrication of multifunctional air filters. All the above characteristics, combined with the natural abundance and biocompatibility of silk, suggest a great potential for the use of silk nanofibers as air filters, especially as comfortable and personal air purifiers.

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Publication history

Received: 09 February 2016
Revised: 08 May 2016
Accepted: 11 May 2016
Published: 27 June 2016
Issue date: September 2016

Copyright

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer‐Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge Prof. Xiqiao Feng, Prof. Hongping Zhao (Tsinghua University) for fruitful discussions about raw silk materials, thank Mr. Jianwen Ye for his help in providing E. coli and S. aureus. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21203107, 51422204, and 51372132) and the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013CB228506).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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