Wearable Electronic science – Nanofication of textiles

carbon_nanotube_e_textiles.jpgAt times, nano-whatever seems to solve all problems the world is suffering from. Nano has the sound of a ‘magic spell’ on it.

No wonder that ‘nanofication’ of textiles was one of the first areas nano technology found early commercial applications. One of the most prominent nano-textile applications is the impregnation (coating) of fibers and textiles to make them, thanks to nano technology, wrinkle free or water repellent or stain resistant, dirt repellent – just to name a few.

Using nano technology to ‘electrify’ textiles to make ‘smart textiles’ is a fiercely field of research.

According an article in the latest issue of MIT‘s Technology Review Magazine professor Nicholas Kotov at the University of Michigan developed a new and it seems very promising ‘nanofication’ technique of coating textiles with carbon nano-tubes transforming them to electronic sensors that look and feel like ordinary cotton.

Carbon nanotubes are highly conductive and if molecules such as antibodies are anchored to their surface, they can also serve as very sensitive chemical detectors by changing the nanutobe’s electrical resistance.

Existing ‘nanofication’ processes either degrade the sensitivity of treated textiles or require a very complex and time consuming process. Professor Nicholas Kotov developed a simplified method to apply carbon nanotubes on complex three-dimensional surfaces such as a cotton thread by dipping yarn or textiles into the magical ‘nanofication’ liquid.

‘This method results in a sleek, powerful, and much more wearable alternative to complex intelligent textiles that incorporate heavy, bulky optical fibers or corrosion prone metal wires.’

I am not an expert in nano technologies but judging on the description of this process and looking to the fast adoption speed of nano technologies for textiles, Professor Kotov’sĀ  development could be become abailable soon which in turn could bring big advanvementsĀ  to the interactive fashion industry.

Check out the full story at Technology Review.

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