Silver nanowires promises more comfortable smart textiles
December 28, 2018
In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers
from the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications have
developed a simple, scalable and low-cost capillary-driven self-assembly
method to prepare flexible and stretchable conductive fibers that have
applications in wearable electronics and smart fabrics.
A simple, scalable and low-cost
capillary-driven self-assembly method has been developed to prepare
conductive fibers with uniform morphology, high conductivity and good
mechanical strength. By coating highly conductive and flexible silver
nanowires on the surfaces of yarn and PDMS fibers, high-performance
fiber-shaped flexible and stretchable conductors are fabricated, which
have great potential for application in wearable devices.
A simple, scalable and low-cost
capillary-driven self-assembly method to prepare conductive fibers with
uniform morphology, high conductivity and good mechanical strength has
been developed by a team of researchers in Nanjing, China. Dr. Yi Li and
Yanwen Ma, from the Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and
Information Displays, Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM) of Nanjing
University of Posts and Telecommunications and his collaborators have
developed a simple, scalable and low cost capillarity-driven
self-assembly route to produce silver nanowires (Ag NWs) coated flexible
and stretchable conductive fibers.
Taking advantage of the capillary action of fibers, such as cotton,
nylon and polyester yarns as well as PDMS fibers, the solution
containing Ag NWs is spontaneously absorbed into the capillary tunnels.
Then Ag NWs are evenly coated onto the fibers through
evaporation-induced flow and capillary-driven self-assembly process to
form conductive fibers, which is in situ observed by the optical
microscopic measurement. The fabricated flexible and stretchable
conductor exhibits uniform morphology, high conductivity and good
mechanical strength, which is promising for the application in wearable
electronics and smart fabrics.
conductive fibers are metal wires such as stainless steel and copper
wires, as well as the metal film coated yarn. These conductive fibers
are stiff and brittle, not meeting the demand of flexibility and
comfortability for smart textiles.
Smart textiles with electronic devices such as sensor, light emitting
diode, transistor, battery and supercapacitors integrated into fabrics
have drawn considerable attention. Conductive fibers and yarns, with the
function of connecting various electronic devices, play a key role in
smart textiles system. Recently, conductive nanomaterials such as metal
nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes and graphene with high conductivity,
good mechanical properties, feasibility of large-scale production and
solution-process, have become a new type of fundamental materials for
conductive fibers. Great efforts have been made to engineer conductive
nanomaterials into conductive fibers by various technologies such as
vapor deposition, electrospinning and spray coating methods. Despite
these promising progresses, the facile, large-scale and cost-effective
fabrication of conductive fibers with high flexibility and good
electrical conductivity is still a challenge.