Conductive cotton fabrics have been developed into flexible wearable strain sensors.
A team of scientists from UK-based Cambridge University and Jiangnan University in China has used modified graphene to develop wearable cotton smart textiles.
Based on Cambridge Graphene Center’s Dr. Felice Torrisi’s graphene ink chemistry for wearable electronics, the international team deposited the modified graphene onto cotton fabrics, using vacuum filtration. This process enabled modified graphene inks to adhere strongly to cotton fibers. Heat-treating the coated cotton fabrics enhanced the conductivity and made it durable, even after several washes.
According to Dr. Torrisi, using modified graphene inks makes the process inexpensive and environmentally friendly. More importantly, the modified graphene is chemically compatible with cotton. Cotton strain sensors were able to detect up to 500 motion cycles even after ten wash cycles.
According to researchers, this research can create new high performance wear, sports textiles and fashionable wearable electronic textiles.
The research, which has appeared in a recent issue of journal Carbon, is being commercialized by Cambridge University.