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Cotton fabrics to act as electric capacitors
30
Jan '10
A team of researchers at Stanford University, led by Material Science Professor Yi Cui, have found out a technique for converting cotton fabrics into super-capacitors, energy storage devices just like a battery.

They incorporated single-walled carbon nanotubes into textiles utilizing a technique generally used for dyeing. Carbon nanotubes are dissolved in water with sodium dodecylbenzenesulphonate as a surfactant, for creating a nanotube dye. The fabric sample is immersed into this mixture for 10 minutes, prior to drying it at 120°C.

The fabric gets a conductivity of 5 s/cm through this treatment. This can be increased to 125 s/cm by simple mechanical pressing of the fabric, resulting in creation of a highly-conducive material. Also intensification of dipping and drying cycles could help in further increasing the conductivity.

Fabric's conductance also increases when it is stretched, which researchers suppose is due to enhanced mechanical contacts amongst fibres within the fabric.

Absorbent nature of cotton fibres allows better ion transport to the nanotubes, which function as super-capacitor, and due to this, cotton has proved to be better than man-made fibres by about 2-3 times.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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