Scientists develop fully woven, smart display

Scientists develop fully woven, smart display

credit: University of Cambridge

Researchers have developed a 46-inch woven display with smart sensors, energy harvesting and integrated storage directly into the fabric.

An international team of scientists has created a fully woven smart textile display that integrates active electronic, sensing, energy and photonic functions. The works are embedded directly into the fibers and yarns, which are manufactured using textile based industrial processes.

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge say their approach could lead to applications that sound like sci-fi: curtains that are also TVs, energy-harvesting carpets and interactive, self-powered clothing and clothing.

This is the first time that a scalable large-area complex system has been fully integrated into textiles using a fiber-based manufacturing approach. Their results have been reported in the journal nature communication,

Despite recent advances in the development of smart textiles, their functionality, dimensions and shape are limited by current manufacturing processes.

Integrating specialized fibers into textiles through traditional weaving or weaving processes means they can be incorporated into everyday items, which opens up a vast range of potential applications. However, to date, the manufacturing size of these fibers has been limited, or the technology has not been adapted to the fabrics and weaving process.

To make the technique weave-friendly, the researchers coated each fiber component with a material that could withstand enough stretch so that they could be used on textile manufacturing equipment. The team also braided some fiber-based components to improve their reliability and durability. Finally, they joined multiple fiber components together using conductive adhesives and laser welding techniques.

Using these techniques together, they were able to incorporate multiple functionalities into a single large piece of woven fabric with standard, scalable textile manufacturing processes.

The resulting fabric can serve as a display, monitor various inputs, or store energy for later use. Fabrics can detect radiofrequency signals, touch, light and temperature. It can also be rolled up, and because it is made using commercial textile manufacturing techniques, large rolls of functional fabric can be made in this way.

Researchers say their prototype display paves the way for next-generation e-textile applications in areas such as smart and energy-efficient buildings that generate and store their own energy, Internet of Things (IoT), distributed sensor networks and interactive displays. can. Flexible and wearable when integrated with clothing.

“Our approach is built on the convergence of micro and nanotechnology, advanced displays, sensors, energy and technical textile manufacturing,” said Professor Jong Min Kim, from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. Manish Chauvala. “This is a step towards the full exploitation of sustainable, convenient e-fibers and e-textiles in everyday applications. And this is only the beginning.”

“By integrating fiber-based electronics, photonic, sensing and energy functionalities, we can achieve a whole new class of smart devices and systems,” said Ochipinti, also from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. “By uncovering the full potential of textile manufacturing, we may soon see smart and energy-autonomous Internet of Things devices seamlessly integrate into everyday objects and many other field applications.”

Researchers are working with European collaborators to make the technology sustainable and usable for everyday items. They are also working to integrate sustainable materials as fiber components, providing a new class of energy textile systems. Their flexible and functional smart fabric could eventually be built into batteries, supercapacitors, solar panels and other devices.

A promising way to manufacture fiber batteries on an industrial scale

more information:
Hyung Woo Choi et al, Smart textile lighting/display systems with multifunctional fiber devices for large scale smart home and IoT applications, nature communication (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-28459-6

Provided by Cambridge University

CitationScientists develop fully woven, smart display (2022, February 10) retrieved 30 March 2022 from

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