Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Research examines how to apply conductive nanocoatings to textiles
Research examines how to apply conductive nanocoatings to textiles
07
Jun '11
Imagine plugging a USB port into a sheet of paper, and turning it into a tablet computer. It might be a stretch, but ideas like this have researchers at North Carolina State University examining the use of conductive nanocoatings on simple textiles – like woven cotton or even a sheet of paper.

“Normally, conductive nanocoatings are applied to inorganic materials like silicon. If we can find a way to apply them to textiles – cheap, flexible materials with a contorted surface texture – it would represent a cost-effective approach and framework for improving current and future types of electronic devices,” says Dr. Jesse Jur, assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science, and lead author of a paper describing the research.

Using a technique called atomic layer deposition, coatings of inorganic materials, typically used in devices such as solar cells, sensors and microelectronics, were grown on the surface of textiles like woven cotton and nonwoven polypropylene – the same material that goes into reusable grocery store bags. “Imagine coating a textile fabric so that each fiber has the same nanoscale-thick coating that is thousands of times thinner than a human hair – that's what atomic layer deposition is capable of doing,” Jur says. The research, done in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Gregory Parsons, NC State Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, shows that common textile materials can be used for complex electronic devices.

As part of their study, the researchers created a procedure to quantify effective electrical conductivity of conductive coatings on textile materials. The current standard of measuring conductivity uses a four-point probe that applies a current between two probes and senses a voltage between the other two probes. However, these probes were too small and would not give the most accurate reading for measurements on textiles. In the paper, researchers describe a new technique using larger probes that accurately measures the conductivity of the nanocoating. This new system gives researchers a better understanding of how to apply coatings on textiles to turn them into conductive devices.

“We're not expecting to make complex transistors with cotton, but there are simple electronic devices that could benefit by using the lightweight flexibility that some textile materials provide,” Jur explains. “Research like this has potential health and monitoring applications since we could potentially create a uniform with cloth sensors embedded in the actual material that could track heart rate, body temperature, movement and more in real time. To do this now, you would need to stick a bunch of wires throughout the fabric – which would make it bulky and uncomfortable.

“In the world of electronics, smaller and more lightweight is always the ideal. If we can improve the process of how to apply and measure conductive coatings on textiles, we may move the needle in creating devices that have the requisite conductive properties, with all the benefits that using natural textile materials affords us,” Jur says.

A paper describing the research is published in the June issue of Advanced Functional Materials. Fellow NC State researchers include Parsons, post-doctoral researcher Christopher Oldham, and graduate student William Sweet. Funding for the study came from the Department of Energy and the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center.

North Carolina State University

Must ReadView All

Neelesh Hundekari speaking at the event. Courtesy: Subir Ghosh

Textiles | On 27th May 2017

Fabric of Change initiative announces €250000 scaling fund

The Fabric of Change initiative of Ashoka and the C&A Foundation is...

Pakistan's Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar presenting Budget 2017-18 in National Assembly in Islamabad on May 26. Courtesy: PID, Pakistan

Textiles | On 27th May 2017

Pakistan Budget 2017-18 proposes 4 new measures

To support the textile sector in Pakistan, finance minister Mohammad...

Textiles | On 27th May 2017

Indian exports can touch $325 bn in 2017-18: FIEO

Indian exports are on upward trend in last few months as the country...

Interviews View All

Karan Toshniwal
Orange O Tec

Contemporary industry is paying more and more attention to the...

Viral Desai
Zenitex Mill Pvt Ltd

Full of green energy

Dinaz Madhukar
DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade

‘Each event and promotion is planned out keeping in mind the business of...

Eric Scholler
Groz-Beckert

The Indian market has huge potential in technical textiles, and by far,...

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Johan Berlin
InvestKonsult Sweden AB

Investkonsult Sweden AB has been buying and selling second-hand textile...

Sonam & Paras Modi
SVA

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks

"We should not compare India and the West. There are things we do that...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

news category


Related Categories:
May 2017

May 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search