Challenges of Coating Textiles with Graphene
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Electronic textiles (e-textiles) hold the key for seamless integration of electronic devices for wearable applications. Compared to other flexible substrates, such as plastic films, textiles are, however, challenging substrates to work with due to their surface roughness. Researchers at the University of Exeter, UK, demonstrated that using different coating techniques as well as different types of graphene coatings is the key to overcome this challenge. The results of coating selected monofilament textile fibres and woven textiles with graphene are discussed here. These conductive textiles are fundamental components in e-textiles, and some applications will be reviewed in this paper. That includes light-emitting devices, touch and position sensors, as well as temperature and humidity sensors. The possibility of triboelectric energy harvesting is also discussed as the next step to realise self-powered e-textiles.