New Cellulose Filaments: The Huge Potential of Electronics in Textiles and Clothing

electronics in textiles and clothing

Potential of Electronics in Textiles and Clothing (Electronic Textiles)

Electronic textiles (E-Textile) or electronics in textiles and clothing provide revolutionary new opportunities in various fields, especially in the field of health care. But for sustainable development, they must be made of renewable materials. A research team led by Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has now demonstrated a thread made of conductive cellulose that offers fascinating and practical possibilities for electronic textiles.

“Micro, wearable electronic products are becoming more and more common in our daily lives. However, at present, they usually rely on rare or in some cases toxic materials. They also lead to the accumulation of large amounts of e-waste. “The real need Organic, renewable materials for electronic textiles (E-Textile),” said Sozan Darabi, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Chalmers University of Technology and the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, and the lead author of the science. An article recently published on ASC Applied Materials & Interfaces.

New Research of Electronic in Textiles and Clothing

Sozan Darabi and Anja Lund, a researcher in the same group, have been engaged in the research of conductive fibers for electronic textiles (electronics in textiles and clothing) for several years. Previously the focus was on silk, but now these findings have been further discovered through the use of cellulose.

The results presented by the researchers now show that cellulose thread has great potential as a material for electronic textiles and can be used in a variety of ways.

Researchers have now used a standard household sewing machine to sew conductive cellulose threads into fabrics, and have now successfully produced a thermoelectric textile that will be heated when one side is heated (for example, by the heat of the human body). Generate a small amount of electricity. . Under a temperature difference of 37 degrees Celsius, textiles can generate about 0.2 microwatts of electricity.

Sozan Darabi said: “This cellulose thread may lead to clothing with built-in electronics and smart functions made of non-toxic, renewable and natural materials.”

The production process of the cellulose thread was developed by a co-author of Aalto University in Finland. In the subsequent process, Chalmers researchers made the wires conductive by dyeing the wires with conductive polymer materials. The researchers’ measurement results show that the dyeing process makes the cellulose filaments have a record high conductivity-the conductivity can be further improved by adding silver nanowires. In the test, the conductivity was maintained after several cleanings.

The Future of Electronics in Textiles and Clothing

Electronic textiles (electronics in textiles and clothing) can improve our lives in many ways. An important area is healthcare, where functions such as regulating, monitoring, and measuring various health indicators may benefit greatly.

In the wider textile industry, the conversion to sustainable raw materials has always been a crucial issue, and natural materials and fibers have become an increasingly common alternative to synthetic fibers. Researchers say that conductive cellulose threads can also play an important role here.

“Cellulose is a wonderful material that can be extracted and recycled sustainably. We will see more and more cellulose in the future. Also, when the product is made of uniform materials or as few materials as possible, The recycling process will become easier and the research leader of this technology, Professor Christian Müller of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Chalmers University of Technology, said: “This is a very promising cellulose thread for the development of electronic textiles (electronics in textiles and clothing). “

This work by the Chalmers research team was done in collaboration with colleagues in Sweden, Finland and South Korea at the National Research Center Wallenberg Wood Science Center.

What Researchers Say about Electronics in Textiles and Clothing

Both Sozan Darabi and Christian Müller believe that the results of this research are not limited to the latest scientific publications. Sozan Darabi has developed from a student to an expert in the field of conductive fiber materials. Christian Müller thinks this is very beneficial and provides a powerful force for their research team.

Through the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, the Swedish National Research Center, a team from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH) also participated in the research and publication of the study. KTH researchers focus on the electrochemical aspects of fibers. The Chalmers research team and the KTH team are planning ways to take these ideas to new heights.

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