The future of wearable textiles, energy-harvesting fabrics with 3D Printing

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The development of wearable textiles has gained offering immense potential in intelligent clothing. Scientists and nanotechnologists have made impressive strides in creating fabrics that can convert body movement into usable electricity and store that energy.
One of the key challenges lies in the flexibility and wearability of energy supply components. Current energy sources lack the necessary flexibility to be seamlessly integrated into clothing. Researchers are actively developing more flexible and lightweight energy sources that can easily incorporate into textiles without compromising comfort.

Professor Dong and his nanoscientists team from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have made a significant breakthrough in wearable textiles by developing a unique structure called the “fiber-TENG.” This innovative fabric harnesses the power of the triboelectric effect, which occurs when certain materials become electrically charged upon frictional contact with another material. This effect is commonly observed in everyday static electricity. The fiber-TENG comprises three distinct layers, each serving a specific purpose. The first layer is made of polylactic acid, a polyester commonly used in 3D printing. This layer provides flexibility and durability to the textile structure, allowing it to withstand the rigors of everyday wear. The second layer consists of reduced graphene oxide, a cost-effective variant of graphene. The third layer comprises polypyrrole, a polymer commonly used in electronics and medicine.

Combining these three layers in the fiber-TENG creates a flexible, knittable, and wearable textile that can effectively generate and harvest electrical energy.

By Tsinghua University Press.

Wearable textile captures energy from body movement to power devices.

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