Context: A team of researchers at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore, have prepared TriboE Mask, that can hold electric charges to restrict the entry of infections.

About TriboE Mask


Internal structure

  • The mask is three-layered –a layer of nylon cloth sandwiched between polypropylene layers.
  • Polypropylene layers are sourced from commonly used non woven grocery bags. 
  • In place of nylon, silk fabric from an old saree or shawl may also be cut and used.




Principles used

  • The mask is based on principles of Triboelectricity
    • When two non-conducting layers are rubbed against each other, the layers develop positive and negative charges instantly and continue to hold the charges for some time.

Working Mechanism

  • When layers of the mask are rubbed against each other, the outer layers develop negative charges, while nylon will hold the positive charges. 
  • This will act as double electric wall protection against the infectious entities crossing.
  • The mask does not require any external power.


Other details

  • Mask is expected to reduce the transmission of micro-droplets that linger in the air.
  • The electric field produced after rubbing two layers of mask which is quite strong at proximity can be used to deactivate or possibly even kill the germs.
  • As the mask is made out of commonly available fabrics, it can be washed just like any other cloth and can be reused. 
  • At this stage,the mask is, however, not recommended to healthcare professionals and patients.


The Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS)

  • It is an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, located in Bengaluru. 
  • DST provides core support to the Centre in the form of a grant-in-aid for conducting basic and applied research in nano and soft matter sciences.