Characterization of protective mask fibers

by Raman microscopy

Characterization of protective mask fibers by Raman microscopy

Raman maps of mask with additive particles. Raman spectral identifications based on KnowItAll® databases. Each color represents a specific compound. Yellow: Cellulose+TiO2, Violet: PET, Green: Additive particles.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic health crisis, wearing a mask is compulsory in public places in addition to barrier gestures and physical distancing measures. It is now part of our daily lives and helps to limit the spreading risk of the coronavirus.
There are three main categories with different protective properties: Respiratory protective masks (FFP), surgical-type masks and textile masks. Given this wide choice of protective masks, the study of their chemical composition has proved essential. Indeed, the identification of the substances that make up the fibers of masks informs about what we expose everyday our skin and therefore our health. In addition, it is interesting to study whether their structure and their chemical composition have an impact on their respective filtration capacity. This application note presents how Raman micro-spectroscopy and more particularly Raman mapping have allowed the characterization and identification of the chemical compounds that constitute the masks.

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