Nanotechnology continues to revolutionize the textile—and energy—industries. Stanford University researchers have developed batteries and simple capacitors from fabric dipped in nanoparticle-infused ink. “The whole thing can be stretchable … and extend to more than twice its length,” says Liangbing Hu, a postdoctoral scholar who leads the energy textile research. “You can wash it, put it in all kinds of solvents—it’s very stable.”
The lightweight, flexible and porous fiber platform can be customized for different purposes depending upon the contents of the ink. Add oxide particles for batteries or single-walled carbon nanotubes for supercapacitors. Among the applications being explored for e-textiles are health monitoring apparel, moving display apparel, consumer electronics and lighter energy solutions for the military. A piece of e-textile weighing 10 ounces could hold up to three times more energy than a cell-phone battery and withstand greater mechanical stress. Read more at http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/february15/cui-aaas-nanotechnology.html.