Chinese scientists have developed a kind of flexible and washable power-generating fabric that can be used as smart clothing for wearable electronics.
The increasing popularity of wearable electronic devices has called for improvement in their energy supply systems, as traditional systems such as batteries are bulky and require frequent charging.
Scientists from Shanghai-based Donghua University have designed a power-generating fabric with scalable fabrication technologies. The man-made fabric can harvest biomechanical energy from human motions and effectively convert them into electricity to power wearable electronics.
The fabric is made of high-strength polyester for the substrate layer and conductive fabric as the electrode layer. The fabric surface was modified with nanofibers and nanoparticles to largely enhance its electrical output.
The fabric is washable and can be tailored into different shapes. Besides harvesting energy, it can be integrated with everyday clothes to sense human motions, serving as a highly sensitive sensor of human movements.
The research will benefit the development of smart textiles and next-generation wearable electronics. It was published in the journal Nano Energy.