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Plug your iPod into your T-shirt for power?

Date:
January 25, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Could powering an iPod or cell phone become as easy as plugging it into your T-shirt or jeans, and then recharging the clothing overnight? Scientists in California are reporting an advance in that direction with an easier way of changing ordinary cotton and polyester into "conductive energy textiles" -- e-Textiles that double as a rechargeable battery.

Fabrics treated with this new electrically-conductive ink may power a new generation of futuristic clothing that charges iPods, cell phones and other electronics.
Credit: American Chemical Society

Could powering an iPod or cell phone become as easy as plugging it into your T-shirt or jeans, and then recharging the clothing overnight? Scientists in California are reporting an advance in that direction with an easier way of changing ordinary cotton and polyester into "conductive energy textiles" -- e-Textiles that double as a rechargeable battery. Their report on the research appears in ACS' Nano Letters, a monthly journal.

"Wearable electronics represent a developing new class of materials with an array of novel functionalities, such as flexibility, stretchability, and lightweight, which allow for many applications and designs previously impossible with traditional electronics technology," Yi Cui and colleagues note. "High-performance sportswear, wearable displays, new classes of portable power, and embedded health monitoring systems are examples of these novel applications."

The report describes a new process for making E-textiles that uses "ink" made from single-walled carbon nanotubes -- electrically conductive carbon fibers barely 1/50,000 the width of a human hair. When applied to cotton and polyester fabrics, the ink produced e-Textiles with an excellent ability to store electricity. The fabrics retained flexibility and stretchability of regular cotton and polyester, and kept their new e-properties under conditions that simulated repeated laundering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hu et al. Stretchable, Porous, and Conductive Energy Textiles. Nano Letters, 2010; 100105160339042 DOI: 10.1021/nl903949m

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Plug your iPod into your T-shirt for power?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120113556.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, January 25). Plug your iPod into your T-shirt for power?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120113556.htm
American Chemical Society. "Plug your iPod into your T-shirt for power?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120113556.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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