Thermal Management in Nanofiber-Based Face Mask

Ankun Yang, Lili Cai, Rufan Zhang, Jiangyan Wang, Po Chun Hsu, Hongxia Wang, Guangmin Zhou, Jinwei Xu, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Face masks are widely used to filter airborne pollutants, especially when particulate matter (PM) pollution has become a serious concern to public health. Here, the concept of thermal management is introduced into face masks for the first time to enhance the thermal comfort of the user. A system of nanofiber on nanoporous polyethylene (fiber/nanoPE) is developed where the nanofibers with strong PM adhesion ensure high PM capture efficiency (99.6% for PM2.5) with low pressure drop and the nanoPE substrate with high-infrared (IR) transparency (92.1%, weighted based on human body radiation) results in effective radiative cooling. We further demonstrate that by coating nanoPE with a layer of Ag, the fiber/Ag/nanoPE mask shows a high IR reflectance (87.0%) and can be used for warming purposes. These multifunctional face mask designs can be explored for both outdoor and indoor applications to protect people from PM pollutants and simultaneously achieve personal thermal comfort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3506-3510
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 14 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Thermal management
  • face mask
  • filter
  • nanofiber
  • particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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