Leo Poon's team and collaborators from Virginia Tech have developed a transparent antibacterial silver oxide coating which reduces 99.3% of SARS-CoV-2 that can be applied on touch-screens.
Transparent antimicrobial coatings can maintain the aesthetic appeal of surfaces and the functionality of a touch-screen while adding the benefit of reducing disease transmission. We fabricated an antimicrobial coating of silver oxide particles in a silicate matrix on glass. The matrix was grown by a modified Stöber sol-gel process with vapor-phase water and ammonia. A coating on glass with 2.4 mg of Ag2O per mm2 caused a reduction of 99.3% of SARS-CoV-2 and >99.5% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus compared to the uncoated glass after 1 h. We envisage that screen protectors with transparent antimicrobial coatings will find particular application to communal touch-screens, such as in supermarkets and other check-out or check-in facilities where a number of individuals utilize the same touch-screen in a short interval.