Published on 15 Jun 2021

Nanotech antimicrobial mask blocks 99.9 per cent of germs and particles – Professor Lam Yeng Ming & Associate Professor Liu Zheng

We are delighted to share the research achievement of Professor Lam Yeng Ming, Associate Professor Liu Zheng and their team, which has been featured in various media.

The research team has developed a reusable “nanotech mask” that can block 99.9 per cent of bacteria, viruses and particulate matter (PM), as well as kill germs just in 45 seconds. Its antimicrobial coating potency can last for at least 6 days, while its filtration efficiency surpasses those of standard N95 masks (95 per cent filtration of PM0.3). It can also be washed and reused over 10 times, making it more sustainable than conventional disposable masks, but just as easy to breathe in.

In mid-May, Singapore tightened its Covid-19 measures as the country was facing an increase in the number of infections, and the population was advised to use more effective face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The made-in-NTU nanotech mask is made with two key components: an antimicrobial coating made from copper nanoparticles developed and patented by Professor Lam Yeng Ming, coated on a non-woven fabric mask invented by Associate Professor Liu Zheng, which has a unique static-electricity property that draws and traps all nanoparticles and germs.

The team is now looking to work with local industry partners who are keen to license and scale up the production of their 2-in-1 mask and are currently preparing scientific papers for submission in scientific journals.

Prof Lam, who is also the Chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, said their mask prototype combines the two most desired properties needed to fight COVID-19, into a single filter. “In experiments, our copper nanoparticle coating has an extremely fast and sustained antibacterial activity, with a killing efficiency of up to 99.9 per cent when it meets multidrug resistant bacteria. This coating will help to reduce the spread of bacteria as it kills microbes in droplets trapped by the mask fibres, which provide excellent filtration efficiency. This should give users a double layer of protection compared to conventional surgical masks,” explained Prof Lam. 

Nanotech antimicrobial mask blocks 99.9 per cent of germs and particles – Professor Lam Yeng Ming & Associate Professor Liu Zheng
From left: Assoc Prof Liu Zheng, Dr Teddy Salim, Dr Rui A. Gonçalves and Prof Lam Yeng Ming display the nanotech antimicrobial mask that blocks 99.9 per cent germs and has a coating that kill germs in 45 seconds. Source: NTUsg youtube