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Energy-harvesting materials for smart fabrics and textiles

  • Russel Torah (a1), Jake Lawrie-Ashton (a2), Yi Li (a3), Sasikumar Arumugam (a4), Henry A. Sodano (a5) and Steve Beeby (a6)...

This article reviews materials developed to enable energy harvesting from textiles. It includes energy harvesting from mechanical, thermal, and light sources, and covers materials employed into yarns that can be woven into the textile and films that are deposited onto the surface of the textile. The textile places challenging constraints on the materials, for example, by limiting processing temperatures to typically less than 150°C and presenting a rough, inconsistent surface profile. Example materials include a screen-printable low-temperature composite lead zirconate titanate polymer film and poly(vinylidene fluoride) polymer fibers, both of which have been shown to harvest mechanical energy from textiles. Thermoelectric solutions demonstrated thus far are limited and challenging to implement within a textile. Photovoltaic solutions include organic and dye-sensitized solar cells fabricated into functionalized yarns and as films spray-coated onto textiles. While numerous suitable example materials and textile devices have been demonstrated, work is still needed to develop these into practical energy-harvesting solutions.

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MRS Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0883-7694
  • EISSN: 1938-1425
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-bulletin
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