In our previous work, we have produced a photochromic wool fabric by applying a thin layer of hybrid silica-photochromic dye onto the wool surface. The coating showed a very fast optical response, but had little influence on the fabric handle, however durability was low. In this context, we reported that durability of the hybrid layer can be improved by introducing epoxy groups into the silica matrix via co-hydrolysis and co-condensation of an alkyl trialkoxysilane (ATAS) and 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS). The presence of epoxy groups in the silica enhanced both washing and abrasion durabilities. Also, the optical response speed was slightly increased as well. Effects of the type of alkyl silane and the GPTMS:alkyl silane ratio on the coating durability, fabric handle and optical response were examined.
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