Wearable electronic components incorporated directly into fabrics have been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge.
The Cambridge researchers, working in collaboration with colleagues at Jiangnan University in China, have shown how graphene - a two-dimensional form of carbon - and other related materials can be directly incorporated into fabrics to produce charge storage elements such as capacitors, paving the way to textile-based power supplies which are washable, flexible and comfortable to wear.
The inks are produced by standard solution processing techniques.
Building on previous work by the same team, the researchers designed inks which can be directly coated onto a polyester fabric in a simple dyeing process.
Most other wearable electronics rely on rigid electronic components mounted on plastic or textiles.
These offer limited compatibility with the skin in many circumstances, are damaged when washed and are uncomfortable to wear because they are not breathable.