Scientists at Stanford University, CA join the race for wearable power by developing ink from single-walled carbon nanotubes.
According to the scientists, everyday textiles like Cotton or Polyester fabrics can be electrified with an extremely simple “dipping and drying” process resulting in eTextiles with an excellent ability to store electricity.
Conductive ink impregnated textiles retain their flexibility and stretchability and tests show repeated laundering does not negatively effect the power storing ability.
These properties ‘… 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.‘
Clothing made of such advanced eTextiles can be charged overnight and give off their stored energy to pocket devices or other clothing embedded technologies like illumination or sensors during the day.
As always, research breakthroughs have to be seen on a longer term as it might still take some years to turn laboratory success into commercial success.
Nevertheless, each small or big step is important to finally unleash the power in fashion.