Nav: Home

Silver nanowires promise more comfortable smart textiles

December 27, 2018

In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications have developed a simple, scalable and low-cost capillary-driven self-assembly method to prepare flexible and stretchable conductive fibers that have applications in wearable electronics and smart fabrics.

A simple, scalable and low-cost capillary-driven self-assembly method to prepare conductive fibers with uniform morphology, high conductivity and good mechanical strength has been developed by a team of researchers in Nanjing, China. Dr. Yi Li and Yanwen Ma, from the Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays, Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM) of Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and his collaborators have developed a simple, scalable and low cost capillarity-driven self-assembly route to produce silver nanowires (Ag NWs) coated flexible and stretchable conductive fibers.

Taking advantage of the capillary action of fibers, such as cotton, nylon and polyester yarns as well as PDMS fibers, the solution containing Ag NWs is spontaneously absorbed into the capillary tunnels. Then Ag NWs are evenly coated onto the fibers through evaporation-induced flow and capillary-driven self-assembly process to form conductive fibers, which is in situ observed by the optical microscopic measurement. The fabricated flexible and stretchable conductor exhibits uniform morphology, high conductivity and good mechanical strength, which is promising for the application in wearable electronics and smart fabrics.

Conventional conductive fibers are metal wires such as stainless steel and copper wires, as well as the metal film coated yarn. These conductive fibers are stiff and brittle, not meeting the demand of flexibility and comfortability for smart textiles.

Smart textiles with electronic devices such as sensor, light emitting diode, transistor, battery and supercapacitors integrated into fabrics have drawn considerable attention. Conductive fibers and yarns, with the function of connecting various electronic devices, play a key role in smart textiles system. Recently, conductive nanomaterials such as metal nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes and graphene with high conductivity, good mechanical properties, feasibility of large-scale production and solution-process, have become a new type of fundamental materials for conductive fibers. Great efforts have been made to engineer conductive nanomaterials into conductive fibers by various technologies such as vapor deposition, electrospinning and spray coating methods. Despite these promising progresses, the facile, large-scale and cost-effective fabrication of conductive fibers with high flexibility and good electrical conductivity is still a challenge.
-end-
This work was partially funded National Natural Science Foundation of China and Keypoint Research and Invention Program of Jiangsu Province.

Corresponding authors for this study in NANO are Yi Li, iamyli@njupt.edu.cn and Yanwen Ma iamywma@njupt.edu.cn.

For more insight into the research described, readers are invited to access the paper on NANO.

IMAGE

Caption: A simple, scalable and low-cost capillary-driven self-assembly method has been developed to prepare conductive fibers with uniform morphology, high conductivity and good mechanical strength. By coating highly conductive and flexible silver nanowires on the surfaces of yarn and PDMS fibers, high-performance fiber-shaped flexible and stretchable conductors are fabricated, which have great potential for application in wearable devices.

NANO is an international peer-reviewed monthly journal for nanoscience and nanotechnology that presents forefront fundamental research and new emerging topics. It features timely scientific reports of new results and technical breakthroughs and publishes interesting review articles about recent hot issues.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research, professional and educational communities. The company publishes about 600 books annually and about 135 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www.worldscientific.com.

For more information, contact Tay Yu Shan at ystay@wspc.com.

World Scientific

Related Wearable Electronics Articles:

Stretchable supercapacitors to power tomorrow's wearable devices
Researchers have engineered a novel type of supercapacitor that maintains full functionality even when stretched to eight times its original size.
Fish scales could make wearable electronics more sustainable
Flexible temporary electronic displays may one day make it possible to sport a glowing tattoo or check a reading, like that of a stopwatch, directly on the skin.
This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather
Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes -- a feat that current state of the art technology cannot match.
Fur-friendly 'wearable for pets' developed at Imperial
Imperial College London researchers have invented a new health tracking sensor for pets and people that monitors vital signs through fur or clothing.
Improving adhesives for wearable sensors
By conveniently and painlessly collecting data, wearable sensors create many new possibilities for keeping tabs on the body.
Wearable health tech gets efficiency upgrade
North Carolina State University engineers have demonstrated a flexible device that harvests the heat energy from the human body to monitor health.
A new stretchable battery can power wearable electronics
The adoption of wearable electronics has so far been limited by their need to derive power from bulky, rigid batteries that reduce comfort and may present safety hazards due to chemical leakage or combustion.
A wearable gas sensor for health and environmental monitoring
A highly sensitive, wearable gas sensor for environmental and human health monitoring may soon become commercially available, according to researchers at Penn State and Northeastern University.
Skin-like sensors bring a human touch to wearable tech
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have developed a super-stretchy, transparent and self-powering sensor that records the complex sensations of human skin.
Wearable AC
One day, soldiers could cool down on the military battlefield -- preventing heat stroke or exhaustion -- by using 'wearable air conditioning,' an on-skin device designed by engineers at the University of Missouri.
More Wearable Electronics News and Wearable Electronics Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.