How soon could it be before graphene materials are present in everyday clothing? The rapid development of nanoscience has accelerated the production of miniaturised electronic devices. These advancements have opened new markets in the textile industry, with academics now researching wearable electronics via the weaving of conductive nanomaterials into the clothing fibres. These fibres have been demonstrated as strain and pressure sensors for health applications, wearable energy converters that can harvest solar energy, and as energy storage devices. This last application is particularly exciting as this will allow for displays on clothing, paper like mobile phones and clothing that can be used as a power source for when you’re on the move.
Materials such as metallic nanoparticles and polypyrrole have been deposited on yarn to produce supercapacitors with energy storage properties, however research has demonstrated issues with low strength and capacitance in the fibres. An ASC Nano published paper has utilised graphene oxide as an effective component in these fibres to increase the electronic performance. This research produced a fibre with high specific capacities, good flexibility and long cycle life, with up to 92% retention of capacity after 4950 cycles.
In the study, the yarn is coated in a graphene oxide dispersion and is easily reduced in-situ during the fibre making process. The reduced graphene oxide was found to increase strength, improve charge transfer to the metallic nanoparticles and also contributes to capacitance enhancement. This research exhibits another example of how graphene oxide can be used in composites to increase a products performance in a wide range of applications. If you have any questions regarding the use of graphene oxide in your research, please get in touch.
ACS Nano, 2015, 9, 4766–4775