Scientists discover a type of material that kills bacteria and germs

bacteria killing

We all hate bacteria and germs, so anything that is capable of killing these (often) harmful and deadly things is welcoming. Just imagine doing all kind of nasty little things on the kitchen counter and never having to worry about germs, wouldn’t that be something? (If you get what I mean.) Well, it could soon become a reality, my good people, thanks to a rediscovered material. And what’s interesting here is that it doesn’t require a drop of disinfectant to kill the germs and bacteria.

The germ killing machine is called Black Silicon, and it’s a material that was discovered way back in the 1990s by the boys at Harvard. Only recently scientists came across its antibacterial properties after studying wings of dragonflies cicadas. They discovered that nanostructures on the wings effectively shreds and destroys bacteria that attempts to settle there. The nanostructures are around 500 meters high; Black Silicon has the same properties.

With such a design, bacteria can’t land on the surface without being destroyed by the 500 nanometres high spikes.

Now, while this idea is pretty impressing and could change our kitchen forever, we don’t know how expensive it would be to create Black Silicon on a large scale for consumer consumption. It seems we’ll be stuck spraying disinfectant onto our kitchen counter on a regular basis for the next couple of years before scientists figured out a way to bring Black Silicon to market in a big way. I have ideas, they should hire me.

[via AFP]

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  • David Roper

    [@etim] none

  • beachbouy

    [@etim]

    Bacteria is a specific kind of germ. Germs is a more general term. Then, there are Germans, who may or may not have germs. ;-)

  • Eric989

    That’s too bad. Those 500 meter spikes would have been really handy in that Pacific Rim movie.

  • Ashraf

    [@Peter] That should say 500 nanometres :-)

  • Steve

    I wonder if it also “kills” or renders harmless viruses? Maybe it depends on the size of the virus?

  • etim

    What’s the difference between bacteria and germs?

  • Henfracar

    Couldn’t be millimetres either. That would be about twenty inches high; doable in a kitchen but not on an insect’s wings.

  • JonE

    Good Article . . . . . . .

    [@Peter] I would think that it would go without saying that the kitchen would have to be way over 500 meters high making Black Silicone not a very viable product.

    In all seriousness Black Silicone is used in many sealants and semiconductors. I’m assuming Vam meant 500 millimeters or nanometers or such.

  • Peter

    “The nanostructures are around 500 meters high;”

    Wow, these are big ones! ;) How big has the kitchen to be?