A new method of processing a metal surface allows it to kill bacteria instantly. This effect can be achieved using laser irradiation of the metal, which changes its structure, according to a study by scientists from Purdue University, published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.
Usually metal furniture for medical facilities and food production is provided with a layer of copper, which kills bacteria. However, bacteria can remain stable for several hours, after which they die.
In order to accelerate this process, the researchers developed a one-stage laser texturing technique that improves the bacterial properties of the copper surface, allowing it to kill bacteria in a few seconds.
The researchers used a laser to create nanoscale structures on the surface of a metal: a rough texture that prevents bacteria and viruses from lingering on the surface.
The technique can be applied to metal alloys, which also have antimicrobial properties, the authors of the study note.