Detection of hydroxyl radicals in photoirradiated wool, cotton, nylon and polyester fabrics using a flourescent probe

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Generation of hydroxyl radicals in the presence of buffered terephthalate solution produces flourescent 2-hydroxyterephthalate. Wool, nylon, cotton and polyester all generate hydroxyl radicals when irradiated with UVA light, and to a lesser extent with blue light, in terephthalate solution. Trace metal ions (particularly iron and copper) contribute to hydroxyl radical generation in wool and cotton. UVA irradation of wool in deuterated solution does not affect the concentration of hydroxyl radicals or the amount of yellowing observed relative to undeuterated solution. This suggests that 1O2 is not involved in the wet photoyellowing of wool. Although the photoinitiation stages are clearly different, it is likely that similar free radical processes are responsible for both hydroxyl radical production and wet photoyellowing in all four fibre types. This straight forward fluorescence technique has potential to correlate the free radical photodegeneration of fibres in the presence of various additives designed to improve performance.

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Coloration Technology