updated 06:45 am EDT, Fri June 10, 2011
Fiber nanocoatings being developed by NC State
Researchers at the North Carolina State University are hard at work developing an ultra-thin conductive nanocoating that they hope can eventually be used to produce electronics integrated into clothing. The material is thinner than the human hair by a factor of thousands and the technique to develop is called atomic layer deposition. An inorganic, conductive layer is grown on top of materials like woven cotton.
Thus far, the researchers have applied their technique to woven cotton, a nonwoven plastic like the one used in grocery bags and sheets of paper. This is a departure from the usual method of applying conductive nanocoatings to inorganic materials such as silicon. The lead author of a paper describing the research is Dr. Jesse Jur, who is the assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science at the university. Research was done together with Dr. Gregory Parsons, NC State Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
The research, Jur says, could one day lead to health monitoring clothing for tracking body temperature, heart rate, movement and more in real time. [via Gizmag]