A decade or two back, who would have thought our basic daily clothing items would be steeped in technology! With every passing day, our clothes these days are getting smarter. They can sense body temperature, palpitation, the degree of sweat, and much more to send notifications on smartphones. And now engineers from the University of Cincinnati are partnering with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to make clothing that can charge cell phones! Made from carbon nanotubes, the carbon nanotubes clothing can charge cell phones because of the novel properties of carbon nanotubes. Those include a large surface area which is robust, conductive, and resistant to heat.
Carbon Nanotubes Can Capture Light and Store Energy
The carbon nanotubes which can capture almost 99.9% of the visible light will replace the polyester and other synthetic fibers in the new form of clothing. Researchers are also studying methods to improve the tensile strength of carbon nanotubes fiber that are dry-spun.
For the purpose of making nanotube fiber, researchers use almost any carbon derived from methane, alcohol, and other sources. Laboratories these days can create nanotubes that are much longer than what it used to be before. And this definitely spells opportunity for the market.
It can be woven to form textiles. Nanotubes can be assembled like a machine thread to be used for various purposes such as sensors to keep a tab on heavy metals in water or storage devices for energy ranging from super capacitors to batteries.
Such a breakthrough discovery would enable replacing heavy batteries used for powering the ever-increasing number of electronics that soldiers are required to lug.