Skip to main content

Functionalization of cotton fabric with bismuth oxyiodide nanosheets: applications for photodegrading organic pollutants, UV shielding and self-cleaning


A multifunctional cotton fabric was prepared by immobilizing bismuth oxyiodide (BiOI) nanosheets on the surface of cotton treated to briefly dissolve surface molecules with upon the low-temperature addition of NaOH and urea (cotton micro-dissolution). Immobilization was accomplished by successive adsorption and reaction (SILAR) at the temperature (~ 25 °C). The morphology, structural characteristics, photodegradation ability for organic pollutants, UV shielding, and self-cleaning of the treated fabric were studied. The growth rate and uniformity of the BiOI nanosheets were compared between the treated fabrics and the untreated fabrics. The absorption wavelength of the cotton fabric with BiOI nanosheets was extended to the visible light (~ 630 nm) region. Under visible light irradiation, cotton fabric containing BiOI nanosheets (BiOI > 8.4 wt%) showed remarkable photocatalytic ability for degrading rhodamine B (RhB) with a degradation rate of 99% (C0 = 20 mg/L) and 95% after the first and sixth cycle, respectively. The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of cotton fabric with BiOI nanosheets was > 50, and its transmittance of ultraviolet A (T(UVA)) was < 5%. The cotton fabric with BiOI nanosheets also exhibited superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties. Thus, the cotton fabric with BiOI nanosheets has great potential for application as a multifunctional protective material.

Graphical abstract

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Scheme 1
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


Download references


The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Yami Dai for support in the acquisition of Raman spectra of the samples. This work is financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2017YFB0309700) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21872025).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Linping Zhang or Zhiping Mao.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOC 752 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zhou, P., Lv, J., Xu, H. et al. Functionalization of cotton fabric with bismuth oxyiodide nanosheets: applications for photodegrading organic pollutants, UV shielding and self-cleaning. Cellulose 26, 2873–2884 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • BiOI nanosheets
  • Visible-light photocatalytic activity
  • Ultraviolet protection factor
  • Superhydrophobicity