Jeans double as rechargeable batteries

Posted by Emma Woollacott

In response, presumably, to massive public demand, scientists have developed a way to recharge cellphones and the like by plugging them into your clothing.

Stanford university scientists can now change ordinary cotton and polyester into 'conductive energy textiles' which double as a rechargeable battery.

Defeating the object somewhat, you then recharge the clothes overnight.               

"Wearable electronics represent a developing new class of materials with an array of novel functionalities, such as flexibility, stretchability, and lightweight, which allow for many applications and designs previously impossible with traditional electronics technology," says Yi Cui of the Department of Engineering.

"High-performance sportswear, wearable displays, new classes of portable power, and embedded health monitoring systems are examples of these novel applications."

The technique uses 'ink' made from single-walled carbon nanotubes which, when applied to cotton and polyester fabrics, has an excellent ability to store electricity.

The fabrics were just as flexible and stretchable as regular cotton and polyester. And the engineers even remembered to check that they could cope with laundering.

Their report appears in ACS' Nano Letters.