The use of inks incorporating graphene and other 2D materials has been suggested as a way to improve the existing limited approaches to wearable electronics. Poor adhesion of graphene ink to fabric substrates has so far restricted the performance and durability that could be achieved.
Researchers in the Department of Engineering have developed techniques to modify and prepare the substrates, enabling better quality deposition of inks made from graphene and related materials, and resulting in better connectivity and higher performance of the final component. A spin-out company Textile Two Dimensional Ltd is now further improving the technology and is looking for commercial partners interested in adding functionality to their textile product.
In such a new and growing area, the possible applications are extremely varied, but may include
- fashion (conductive interconnects)
- functional garments
- high performance sportswear
- personal health technology
- wearable technology / computing
- automotive (heating elements, sensors)
- protection (flame retardancy, waterproofing)