Soap bar on left; photocatalytic surface (restroom grab bar) on right

Hand washing. Mask wearing. Social distancing. We have learned that there is a great deal we can do to protect ourselves when we recognize the importance of cleanliness. And now more than ever, businesses and facilities are combining market research data with the latest clean technology to address consumer concerns.

While there has been an evolution in the ways organizations and businesses have sought to ensure that their work environments are clean, today we are seeing the advent of new technologies that are safe, cost-effective and applied with unprecedented efficiency.

The fact is, clean today looks a lot different than it ever has.

What Clean Used to Look Like

Some of the earliest civilizations recognized the health value in cleanliness. Ancient Egyptians and Romans each had their own formulas for soap-making, a precursor of sorts to the more modern development of antibacterial soaps, sanitizers and disinfectants that largely target bacteria.

History also tells us that heavy metals like copper and silver used to kill germs dates back centuries. Writings from Hippocrates chronicle his use of silver in treating wounds. Ions are released in these metal elements that damage the membranes and contents of germ cells.

In the early 21st century was the emergence of textural surfaces, including Sharklet, which doesn’t kill microbes but creates nano forces that discourage them from adhering to the shark skin-like surface. Another textural surface, black silicon, uses sharp nano protrusions to kill bacteria by puncturing its cell wall.

Another recent breakthrough is the germ-killing robots found in ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection. The UV radiation disrupts the DNA of the microbes, but because the rays are harmful to humans, the application of the technology must be done in empty spaces.

Enter Nanotechnology and Photocatalytic Surfaces

As is often the case with scientific discovery, the real-world applications of scientific breakthroughs are often delayed, and that has certainly been the case with nanotechnology and photocatalytic surfaces, whose original development dates to the late 1970s. Since then, additional research has helped to create durable, effective products that can stand up to the demands of the workplace. What’s most exciting is that we are still just scratching the surface (no pun intended) of the potential for these products.

Just what is photocatalytic nanotechnology?

Simply put, it’s a process that uses oxidation to create a self-cleaning material that works continuously and autonomously. The surfaces are smart enough to only need exposure to light to catalyze nonstop self-cleaning action.

What that means, of course, is that the process poses no risk to humans or the environment, nor does it require a laborious, repetitive process of chemical application to surfaces.

This is the technology Nanotouch employs for its self-cleaning surfaces and why our products work continuously, are 100% toxin-free and easy to use.

The timing for the emergence of this pioneering technology couldn’t be better. With workplaces all over the world ever-sensitized to the desire of tenants and guests to have a clean, hygienic facility, a new array of breakthrough, self-cleaning surface products are finding greater and greater application in the real world.