Self-charging electrostatic face masks leveraging triboelectrification for prolonged air filtration

Zehua Peng, Jihong Shi, Xiao Xiao, Ying Hong, Xuemu Li, Weiwei Zhang, Yongliang Cheng, Zuankai Wang, Wen Jung Li, Jun Chen, Michael K.H. Leung, Zhengbao Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Electrostatic adsorption is an important complement to the mechanical filtration for high-efficiency air filtering. However, the electrostatic charge decays with time, especially in humid conditions. In this work, a self-charging air filter is presented to capture airborne particles in an efficient and long-lasting manner without the need of external power sources. Leveraging the triboelectric effect between the electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride) nanofiber film and nylon fabric, the self-charging air filter-based mask excited by breathing can continuously replenish electrostatic charges. As a result, its effective lifespan is up to 60 hours (including 30 hours of wearing), with a minimum filtration efficiency of 95.8% for 0.3-μm particles. The filtration efficiency and lifespan are significantly higher than those of a commercial surgical mask. Furthermore, we uncover the quantitative relation between filtration efficiency and surface electrostatic potential. This work provides an effective strategy to significantly prolong the electrostatic adsorption efficacy for high-performance air-filtering masks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7835
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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