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Graphene Holds Key to Unlocking Creation of Wearable Electronic Devices

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A model of the structure of graphene.

Researchers have developed a technique to embed flexible graphene electrodes into fibers commonly associated with the text tile industry.

Credit: AlexanderAlUS/Wikipedia

University of Exeter researchers have developed a technique to embed transparent, flexible graphene electrodes into fibers commonly associated with the textile industry. The researchers say their technique could revolutionize the creation of wearable electronic devices, which have a wide range of applications, including textile-based global-positioning systems, biomedical monitoring, personal security, and communication tools for those who are sensory impaired.

The technique utilized monolayer graphene, which has exceptional electrical, mechanical, and optical properties, making it an attractive material for applications in wearable electronics. In the Exeter research, graphene was created by a growth method called chemical vapor deposition onto copper foil. The technique involves transferring graphene from the copper foils to a polypropylene fiber already used in the textile industry.

"All electronic devices need wiring, so the first issue to be addressed in this strategy is the development of conducting textile fibers while keeping the same aspect, comfort, and lightness," says Exeter researcher Ana Neves. "The methodology that we have developed to prepare transparent and conductive textile fibers by coating them with graphene will now open the way to the integration of electronic devices on these textile fibers."

From University of Exeter
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