Garment fabric with nanowires can generate energy for wearables

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Scientists want to generate energy with a new fabric for clothing through the movements of the wearer. The electricity generated can be used, for example, to power LCDs or charge wearables.

Korean scientists published their findings in the journal ACS Nano. They have developed a substance in which nanowires are processed. They work with the so-called piezoelectric effect, in which electricity is generated by physical deformation. The threads in the fabric generate energy in this way and can also store it.

In addition to simply generating and storing energy, the scientists have already shown several applications. For example, it is possible to supply energy to LCDs or LEDs in clothing. A wireless car key could also be controlled. Intervention of other devices to transfer the energy is not necessary. In addition, the scientists want to focus on applications for wearables: electrical devices that are worn on the body could be supplied with energy through clothing. The researchers also see applications in the medical industry.

There are several groups of scientists working on clothing that can generate energy. Several years ago, for example, scientists at Stanford came up with a similar substance that can generate and store electricity. They are also working on sensors that are small enough to be incorporated into clothing.

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