The National Research Foundation of Korea announced on December 12 that a research team led by Incheon University professor Kim Byeong-hoon and Inha University professor Jin Hyeong-joon developed the world’s first electronic textile production technology that is based on graphene oxide coating on silk and requires no adhesive.
Electronics textiles have been applied to combat uniforms, biometric shirts, wearable computers, etc. The commercial use of this type of textiles, however, has shown little progress due to high manufacturing costs and complex manufacturing processes.
The research team focused on the properties of silk, that is, the ease of hydrogen bonding and high-temperature resistance. It succeeded in graphene oxide coating without a medium such as an expensive adhesive by repeatedly dipping silk in a graphene oxide solution and drying it. In addition, the team accelerated the process of reduction into an electronic textile by using heat.
The team’s silk-based electronic textile showed little deformation even after washing and bending while maintaining an electric conductivity of approximately 10 S/m comparable to those of existing ones. In other words, the textile can be produced with its performance intact, at a lower cost and within a shorter period of time.
The research team explained that its technique is expected to contribute to the development of flexible display panels, wearable gadgets, sensors detecting harmful substances and so on. Details of the research are available in the November 29 edition of the Advanced Materials journal.