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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 249603, 9 pages
Research Article

Decontamination of Surfaces Exposed to Carbon-Based Nanotubes and Nanomaterials

1FM Global, Norwood, MA 02062, USA
2Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 10 October 2013; Accepted 12 December 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editor: Aiying Wang

Copyright © 2014 Paul Su et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Contamination of surfaces by nanomaterials can happen due to accidental spillage and release or gradual accumulation during processing or handling. Considering the increasingly wide use of nanomaterials in industry and research labs and also taking into account the diversity of physical and chemical properties of different nanomaterials (such as solubility, aggregation/agglomeration, and surface reactivity), there is a pressing need to define reliable nanomaterial-specific decontamination guidelines. In this paper, we propose and investigate a potential method for surface decontamination of carbon-based nanomaterials using solvent cleaning and wipes. The results show that the removal efficiency for single- and multiwalled carbon nanotubes from silicon wafers sprayed with water-surfactant solutions prior to mechanical wiping is greater than 90% and 95%, respectively. The need for further studies to understand the mechanisms of nanomaterial removal from surfaces and development of standard techniques for surface decontamination of nanomaterials is highlighted.