Researchers Develop Stretchable Multi-functional Fiber for Energy Harvesting

Dec, 2020 - By SMI

Researchers Develop Stretchable Multi-functional Fiber for Energy Harvesting

Researchers developed a stretchable multi-functional fiber for energy harvesting and strain sensing.

This stretchable fiber was developed by research team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). This new development can be used in future wearable electronics.

Wearable electronics help in assessing health and physical conditions by analyzing biological signals from the human body. Fibers are found suitable for future wearable electronics, as integration of these into textiles are easy. Moreover, their weave structures offer support that makes them resistant to fatigue. Although many researches have led to the development of fiber-based strain sensors, sensitivity of those were very low.

Applications of wearable devices is currently limited by their power source, as the size, weight, and lifetime of the battery lessens their versatility. The stretchable fiber was designed by the researchers by using a ferroelectric layer composed of P(VDF-TrFE)/PDMS sandwiched between stretchable electrodes composed of a composite of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and poly 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS).

When cracks are formed in MWCNT/PEDOT:PSS layer, fiber exhibits high sensitivity, as compared to the fiber strain sensors that were developed earlier. Moreover, the new fiber is capable of harvesting mechanical energy under various mechanical stimuli such as stretching, tapping, and injecting water into the fiber using the piezoelectric effect of the P(VDF-TrFE)/PDMS layer.

Professor Seungbum Hong said, “This new fiber has various functionalities and makes the device simple and compact. It is a core technology for developing wearable devices with energy harvesting and strain sensing capabilities.”

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