, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 3179–3188 | Cite as

Antibacterial finishing of cotton fabrics based on thiol-maleimide click chemistry

  • Zhonglin Fei
  • Baojiang Liu
  • Meifang Zhu
  • Wei Wang
  • Dan YuEmail author
Original Paper


Cotton fabrics with durable antibacterial properties were prepared by a novel method of thiol-maleimide click reaction. Firstly, 3-Mercaptopropyltriethoxysilane was utilized as a modifier to generate thiol groups on the cotton surface. Then, these thiol groups reacted with N-phenyl-male-imide through thiol-maleimide click chemistry. The surface morphology of the treated fabrics and the reaction mechanism were characterized by FT-IR, Raman, EDS, XPS and SEM. Antibacterial activities, mechanical properties and thermal performance of treated cotton fabrics were also investigated. The Escherichia coli antibacterial rate of treated cotton was 99.56% and the Staphylococcus aureus antibacterial rate of treated cotton was 98.91%, with only a slight decrease after 10 cycles of standard washing, to 88.69 and 87.66%, respectively. These results demonstrated that this treatment effectively endowed cotton fabrics with durable antibacterial properties due to the chemical bonding formed between the antibacterial agent and the substrate. In addition, the treated cotton fabrics maintained good mechanical properties and thermal stability.

Graphical Abstract


Antibacterial agent N-phenyl-male-imide Cotton fabrics Thiol-maleimide click chemistry 



The research was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 16D110518) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51403032).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Lab for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and BiotechnologyDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Lab for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and EngineeringDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Saintyear Holding Group Co., LtdHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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