[[abstract]]Four different carboxylic acids (1,2,3,4-butane tetracarboxylic acid (BTCA), maleic acid (MA), succinic acid (SUA), and citric acid (CA)) were used as crosslinking agents for finished cotton fabrics in the presence of nanometer titanium dioxide catalyst under the irradiation of ultraviolet (UV) light and/or an electronic field (EF). We find that the dry crease recovery angle, wet crease recovery angle, and softness improvement percentages of the treated fabrics for all the crosslinking agents are gradually increased with the increasing of irradiation time period, but the TSR values decreased in all cases. The crease recovery and softness properties for the various crosslinking agents are ranked as BTCA > MA > CA > SUA at a given UV irradiation time period. The addition of EF treatment on the UV-irradiated fabrics improves the catalytic effects significantly. The spectra of Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry reveal the crossfinking reaction between the carboxylic acid group of citric acid and the hydroxyl group of methylcellulose; this reaction could form ester and ether groups in the presence of nanometer TiO2 catalyst under UV irradiation and UV irradiation and EF treatment. The pictures of scanning electron microscopy and the electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis survey spectra show the surface deposition of acid crosslinking agents on the finished fibers and the crosslinking reaction between citric acid and cellulose molecule catalyzed with nanometer titanium dioxide under the irradiation of UV only and under the irradiation of UV and the treatment of EF separately. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
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