Electronics Embedded Washable Textiles

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

Functional semiconductor embedded soft textiles developed. An industry-university team has developed thin polymer preform, which is light emitting diode. The preform when heated liquified partially resulting in a long fiber. The partially liquid state fiber was mixed with electronic devices with the diodes in the core. These semiconductor fibers were then woven into fabrics that can be laundered at least ten times. Inman Mills developed techniques to weave the semiconductor fibers, using conventional loom.

The team consisted of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland and Inman Mills, South Carolina. The attempt will endeavor to establish a “Moore’s Law,” in wearable textiles, according to the researchers involved in the study.

The advancement enables a scalable method to incorporate semiconductors into fibers stated Yoel Fink, member of the team from MIT. The technology will see a rapid commercialization process, added Professor Fink. Applications range from communications to biomedical textiles and protective textiles. The work was funded in part by the United States’ federal government through its agencies such as the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation. The work has appeared in a recent issue of journal Nature.