Antimicrobial and Aging Properties of Ag-, Ag/Cu-, and Ag Cluster-Doped Amorphous Carbon Coatings Produced by Magnetron Sputtering for Space Applications

Sanzone, Giuseppe and Field, Susan and Lee, David and Liu, Jingzhou and Ju, Pengfei and Wang, Minshi and Navabpour, Parnia and Sun, Hailin and Yin, Jinlong and Lievens, Peter (2022) Antimicrobial and Aging Properties of Ag-, Ag/Cu-, and Ag Cluster-Doped Amorphous Carbon Coatings Produced by Magnetron Sputtering for Space Applications. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 14 (8). pp. 10154-10166. ISSN 1944-8244

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Inside a spacecraft, the temperature and humidity, suitable for the human crew onboard, also creates an ideal breeding environment for the proliferation of bacteria and fungi; this can present a hazard to human health and create issues for the safe running of equipment. To address this issue, wear-resistant antimicrobial thin films prepared by magnetron sputtering were developed, with the aim to coat key internal components within spacecrafts. Silver and copper are among the most studied active bactericidal materials, thus this work investigated the antibacterial properties of amorphous carbon coatings, doped with either silver, silver and copper, or with silver clusters. The longevity of these antimicrobial coatings, which is heavily influenced by metal diffusion within the coating, was also investigated. With a conventional approach, amorphous carbon coatings were prepared by cosputtering, to generate coatings that contained a range of silver and copper concentrations. In addition, coatings containing silver clusters were prepared using a separate cluster source to better control the metal particle size distribution in the amorphous carbon matrix. The particle size distributions were characterized by grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). Antibacterial tests were performed under both terrestrial gravity and microgravity conditions, to simulate the condition in space. Results show that although silver-doped coatings possess extremely high levels of antimicrobial activity, silver cluster-doped coatings are equally effective, while being more long-lived, despite containing a lower absolute silver concentration.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
11 February 2022Accepted
18 February 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: antimicrobial clusters nanoparticles silver copper amorphous carbon microgravity aging nanowhiskers
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-01 - biosciences (non-specific)
CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-08 - molecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
Depositing User: David Lee
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 10:53
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2022 10:53

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