SOUTH CAROLINA, USA – Scientists from the University of South Carolina created a t-shirt able to contain energy like a battery while remaining completely flexible and wearable.
The project is led by Xiaodong Li – one of the promising scientists of the university with the assistance of post-doctoral associate Lihong Bao, and is aiming at a completely new way of energy storage.
They took an usual cotton t-shirt and soaked it in a solution of fluoride, dried it and baked it at high temperature. They excluded oxygen in the oven to prevent the material from charring or simply combusting.
The surfaces of the resulting fibers in the fabric were shown by infrared spectroscopy to have been converted from cellulose to activated carbon. Yet the material retained flexibility and could be folded without breaking. They then coated the individual fibers in the activated carbon textile with “nano-flowers” of manganese oxide in order to increase its energy storing capacity.
The idea behind this new technology may prove extremely useful for future devices that may be supplied by the clothes worn by their users, which in its turn will mean a much larger capacity of energy storage on the go.