ADVERTISEMENT

Electronic Materials

Chemistry in Pictures: Nice threads

by Manny Morone
April 12, 2018

 

20180412lnp20-fabric.jpg
Credit: Xiang Li

A slew of different liquids bead up on this strip of cotton fabric because of a coating that researchers applied to it (droplets from left, water containing a blue dye; oleic acid, which is the main component in olive oil; milk; and coffee). Also, with the coating, the fabric can conduct electricity, allowing the researchers to incorporate it into an electrical circuit that turns on a light-emitting diode (top right). Junqi Sun’s team at State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure & Materials made this multitasking coating by first applying a layer of copper that’s about 10 µm thick. This layer gives the threads their conductivity. Then the researchers dip the copper-coated cotton in an ethanol bath that contains two chemicals with fluorinated side chains. The chemicals bind to the copper surface, and because of the molecules’ highly water- and oil-repellent side chains and the copper’s rough surface texture, the fabric staves off a wide variety of liquids. Fabrics with coatings like these could one day be used with wearable electronics and sensors.

Credit: Xiang Li.

Read the paper: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b01279


Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.


Related C&EN content:

U.S. textile makers look for a revival

Spinning yarn for a wash-and-wear energy harvester

Polar bear hair inspires stealth fabric.

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment