Category Archives: clothing

Move over laser—the graphene/carbon nanotube spaser is here, on your t-shirt

This research graphene/carbon nanotube research comes from Australia according to an April 16, 2014 news item on Nanowerk,

A team of researchers from Monash University’s [Australia] Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) has modelled the world’s first spaser …

An April 16, 2014 Monash University news release, which originated the new item, describes the spaser and its relationship to lasers,,

A new version of “spaser” technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing.

A spaser is effectively a nanoscale laser or nanolaser. It emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, rather than the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a traditional laser.

The news release also provides more details about the graphene/carbon nanotube spaser research and the possibility of turning t-shirts into telephones,

PhD student and lead researcher Chanaka Rupasinghe said the modelled spaser design using carbon would offer many advantages.

“Other spasers designed to date are made of gold or silver nanoparticles and semiconductor quantum dots while our device would be comprised of a graphene resonator and a carbon nanotube gain element,” Chanaka said.

“The use of carbon means our spaser would be more robust and flexible, would operate at high temperatures, and be eco-friendly.

“Because of these properties, there is the possibility that in the future an extremely thin mobile phone could be printed on clothing.”

Spaser-based devices can be used as an alternative to current transistor-based devices such as microprocessors, memory, and displays to overcome current miniaturising and bandwidth limitations.

The researchers chose to develop the spaser using graphene and carbon nanotubes. They are more than a hundred times stronger than steel and can conduct heat and electricity much better than copper. They can also withstand high temperatures.

Their research showed for the first time that graphene and carbon nanotubes can interact and transfer energy to each other through light. These optical interactions are very fast and energy-efficient, and so are suitable for applications such as computer chips.

“Graphene and carbon nanotubes can be used in applications where you need strong, lightweight, conducting, and thermally stable materials due to their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. They have been tested as nanoscale antennas, electric conductors and waveguides,” Chanaka said.

Chanaka said a spaser generated high-intensity electric fields concentrated into a nanoscale space. These are much stronger than those generated by illuminating metal nanoparticles by a laser in applications such as cancer therapy.

“Scientists have already found ways to guide nanoparticles close to cancer cells. We can move graphene and carbon nanotubes following those techniques and use the high concentrate fields generated through the spasing phenomena to destroy individual cancer cells without harming the healthy cells in the body,” Chanaka said

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

Spaser Made of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes by Chanaka Rupasinghe, Ivan D. Rukhlenko, and Malin Premaratne. ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (3), pp 2431–2438. DOI: 10.1021/nn406015d Publication Date (Web): February 23, 2014
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society

This paper is behind a paywall.

Smart suits for US soldiers—an update of sorts from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The US military has funded a program named: ‘Dynamic Multifunctional Material for a Second Skin Program’ through its Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Chemical and Biological Technologies Department and Sharon Gaudin’s Feb. 20,  2014 article for Computer World offers a bit of an update on this project,which was first reported in 2012,

A U.S. soldier is on patrol with his squad when he kneels to check something out, unknowingly putting his knee into a puddle of contaminants.

The soldier isn’t harmed, though, because he or she is wearing a smart suit that immediately senses the threat and transforms the material covering his knee into a protective state that repels the potential deadly bacteria.

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a federal government research facility in Livermore, Calif., are using nanotechnology to create clothing designed to protect U.S. soldiers from chemical and biological attacks.

“The threat is nanoscale so we need to work in the nano realm, which helps to keep it light and breathable,” said Francesco Fornasiero, a staff scientist at the lab. “If you have a nano-size threat, you need a nano-sized defense.”

Fornasiero said the task is a difficult one, and the suits may not be ready for the field for another 10 to 20 years. [emphasis mine]

One option is to use carbon nanotubes in a layer of the suit’s fabric. Sweat and air would be able to easily move through the nanotubes. However, the diameter of the nanotubes is smaller than the diameter of bacteria and viruses. That means they would not be able to pass through the tubes and reach the person wearing the suit.

However, chemicals that might be used in a chemical attack are small enough to fit through the nanotubes. To block them, researchers are adding a layer of polymer threads that extend up from the top of the nanotubes, like stalks of grass coming up from the ground.

The threads are designed to recognize the presence of chemical agents. When that happens, they swell and collapse on top of the nanotubes, blocking anything from entering them.

A second option that the Lawrence Livermore scientists are working on involves similar carbon nanotubes but with catalytic components in a polymer mesh that sits on top of the nanotubes. The components would destroy any chemical agents they come in contact with. After the chemicals are destroyed, they are shed off, enabling the suit to handle multiple attacks.

An October 6, 2012 (NR-12-10-06) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) news release details the -project and the proponents,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and collaborators are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents using a novel carbon nanotube fabric.

The material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state. The highly breathable membranes would have pores made of a few-nanometer-wide vertically aligned carbon nanotubes that are surface modified with a chemical warfare agent-responsive functional layer. Response to the threat would be triggered by direct chemical warfare agent attack to the membrane surface, at which time the fabric would switch to a protective state by closing the CNT pore entrance or by shedding the contaminated surface layer.

High breathability is a critical requirement for protective clothing to prevent heat-stress and exhaustion when military personnel are engaged in missions in contaminated environments. Current protective military uniforms are based on heavyweight full-barrier protection or permeable adsorptive protective overgarments that cannot meet the critical demand of simultaneous high comfort and protection, and provide a passive rather than active response to an environmental threat.

To provide high breathability, the new composite material will take advantage of the unique transport properties of carbon nanotube pores, which have two orders of magnitude faster gas transport rates when compared with any other pore of similar size.

“We have demonstrated that our small-size prototype carbon nanotube membranes can provide outstanding breathability in spite of the very small pore sizes and porosity,” said Sangil Kim, another LLNL scientist in the Biosciences and Biotechnology Division. “With our collaborators, we will develop large area functionalized CNT membranes.”

Biological agents, such as bacteria or viruses, are close to 10 nanometers in size. Because the membrane pores on the uniform are only a few nanometers wide, these membranes will easily block biological agents.

However, chemical agents are much smaller in size and require the membrane pores to be able to react to block the threat. To create a multifunctional membrane, the team will surface modify the original prototype carbon nanotube membranes with chemical threat responsive functional groups. The functional groups on the membrane will sense and block the threat like gatekeepers on entrance. A second response scheme also will be developed: Similar to how a living skin peels off when challenged with dangerous external factors, the fabric will exfoliate upon reaction with the chemical agent. In this way, the fabric will be able to block chemical agents such as sulfur mustard (blister agent), GD and VX nerve agents, toxins such as staphylococcal enterotoxin and biological spores such as anthrax.

The project is funded for $13 million over five years with LLNL as the lead institution. The Livermore team is made up of Fornasiero [Francesco Fornasiero], Kim and Kuang Jen Wu. Other collaborators and institutions involved in the project include Timothy Swager at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jerry Shan at Rutgers University, Ken Carter, James Watkins, and Jeffrey Morse at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Heidi Schreuder-Gibson at Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, and Robert Praino at Chasm Technologies Inc.

“Development of chemical threat responsive carbon nanotube membranes is a great example of novel material’s potential to provide innovative solutions for the Department of Defense CB needs,” said Tracee Harris, the DTRA science and technology manager for the Dynamic Multifunctional Material for a Second Skin Program. “This futuristic uniform would allow our military forces to operate safely for extended time periods and successfully complete their missions in environments contaminated with chemical and biological warfare agents.”

The Laboratory has a history in developing carbon nanotubes for a wide range of applications including desalination. “We have an advanced carbon nanotube platform to build and expand to make advancements in the protective fabric material for this new project,” Wu said.

The new uniforms could be deployed in the field in less than 10 years. [emphasis mine]

Since Gaudin’s 2014 article quotes one of the LLNL’s scientists, Francesco Fornasiero, with an estimate for the suit’s deployment into the field as 10 – 20 years as opposed to the “less than 10 years” estimated in the news release, I’m guessing the problem has proved more complex than was first anticipated.

For anyone who’s interested in more details about  US soldiers and nanotechnology,

  • May 1, 2013 article by Max Cacas for Signal Online provides more details about the overall Smart Skin programme and its goals.
  • Nov. 15, 2013 article by Kris Walker for Azonano.com describes the Smart Skin project along with others including the intriguingly titled: ‘Warrior Web’.
  • website for MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies Note: The MIT researcher mentioned in the LLNL news release is a faculty member of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies.
  • website for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Nanotips *(the company)* makes your gloves touchscreen-sensitive

Nanotips is both the name of Tony Yu’s company and of the product. According to a Feb. 13, 2014 news item on Nanowerk, it’s a Kickstarter project, too (Note: Links have been removed),

A Kickstarter project to produce a nanoparticle liquid to transform all gloves into a touchscreen glove is already oversubscribed.

Nanotips is a conductive polyamide liquid solution that can transform your ordinary gloves into touchscreen ones. Formulated using nanotechnology, Nanotips mimics the touch of human skin. It was designed with functionality and durability in mind making it great for all lifestyles.

You can find out more on the Nanotips Kickstarter campaign page or on the Nanotips company website. From the Kickstarter campaign page (where I found more detail than I could on the company website),

NANOTIPS is for everyone. From the cold winter months to the hot summer days, Nanotips is functional in every season.  Military gloves, running gloves, biking gloves, construction gloves, golfing gloves and even the thickest snowboarding and skiing gloves can now all be made touchscreen compatible.

With simplicity and functionality in mind, we set out to create the quickest and most effective universal touchscreen upgrade ever. This formula has been created to last in any condition and takes less than 2 minutes to apply.

Nanotips BlueFor use on fabrics ONLY. Nanotips Blue is designed specifically for fabrics.  This solution dries to a transparent blue which makes it practically invisible on colored fabrics. This formula soaks into the fabric creating a conductive bridge between your finger and the touchscreen device. Treats up to 15 fingers per bottle depending on material.

Nanotips Black

Nanotips Black is specifically tailored for leathers, rubbers, and other thicker materials. This formula works for all materials, however it may alter the texture of your fabric gloves. This formula can work in two ways. A) It creates a conductive layer on the surface of your glove B) It soaks into the fabric and creates a conductive bridge between the finger and the touchscreen device. Treats up to 30 fingers per bottle depending on material.

There is some technical information on the Kickstarter campaign page but it is very general,

Nanotips Black. Quite a bit of work has been done in the development of this product. Comprised of evenly dispersed ultra-fine conductive nanoparticles, each particle is carefully prepped and made to interlink with one another; this helps to form a conductive grid-like film on the surface of the material. Because your glove undergoes constant flex, abrasion, creasing, and natural elements, our formula allows the materials to remain in grid formation even under extreme conditions. This helps to create an evenly distributed conductive channel on the surface of your glove.

Nanotips Blue. Comprised of evenly dispersed ultra-fine conductive nanoparticles, each particle is carefully prepped and made to interlink with one another.  These particles are suspended in a solution which allows the nanoparticles to remain chained to one another even under extreme physical stressors. When applied to fabrics, Nanotips Blue soaks into the material and effectively creates a conductive chain, bridging the gap between your finger and the touchscreen device. The sacrifice for transparency over conductivity was made for Nanotips Blue which is the reason why this solution only functions for fabrics.

Bottles. Our bottles are made from glass. We chose glass over other materials because it allows the liquid to achieve a longer shelf life as it remains sealed in the bottle. The brush is a Dupont nylon brush. Using the brush method of application means that each individual would be able to precisely apply the solution to the targeted area.

I think the future goal on the campaign page is quite intriguing,

PROSTHETIC HANDS.  During the creation of Nanotips, we had discovered that many prosthetic limbs are unable to interact with capacitive touchscreen devices. Because touchscreen technology is such an integral part of our society, daily interactions for anyone with prosthetic hands becomes a challenge. We would like to expand in this field by testing Nanotips on a variety of prosthetics; our goal is to give them the ability to easily interact with touchscreen devices.

Here’s the company’s Kickstarter video pitch,

Nanotips is an active Kickstarter campaign with 11 days to go (as of Feb. 13, 2014) and it has surpassed its initial campaign goal of $10,500 with supporters having pledged $55,776 CAD to date. It seems redundant to wish the company good luck but I will anyway as they deal with a project of a different scale than they’d originally planned.

Two final notes:  (1) the company is located in Richmond, BC, Canada or, as I’ve taken to saying, it’s a Vancouver area company and (2) there is no mention of any environmental testing.

* Added (the company) to head for grammatical purposes on Feb. 14, 2014 .

Is it smart fabrics or smart textiles? (Smart Fabrics + Wearable Technology 2013)

Cath Rogan is  Principal of Smart Garment People, and the author of a Nov. 27, 2013 article profiling the recently held (Oct. 29 – 31, 2013) Smart Fabrics + Wearable Technology Europe 2013 conference. Before excerpting any material from the main body of her conference review for Innovation in Textiles, here’s the description of her company and her work (from the end of the article),

According to a boutique consulting business that helps customers make clothing “smart” and technology wearable.  Cath has spent over two decades developing technical fabrics and clothing for some of the world’s leading outdoor and sports brands, including Karrimor, Berghaus, Barbour, Lowe Alpine, Henri Lloyd, TNF, Patagonia, Nike, Puma and Adidas. More recently, her work has taken her into specialist protective clothing for chemical, biological and ballistic protection, along with wearable health and fitness monitoring.

This image of a bio-mimetic textile is one of several image accompanying the article,

Daan Roosegarde's Intimacy Garment [downloaded from: http://www.innovationintextiles.com/smart-textiles-nanotechnology/smart-fabrics-europe-2013-conference-review/]

Dean Roosegarde’s Intimacy Garment [downloaded from: http://www.innovationintextiles.com/smart-textiles-nanotechnology/smart-fabrics-europe-2013-conference-review/]

Rogan offers a comprehensive review and I’ve chose to highlight only two items from it,. From the article,

Daan Roosegarde covered several different chromic materials in the course of his outstanding opening keynote presentation.  As an artist and architect, the diversity of his projects was striking, but their impact, both visually and in the way they connect people to places, and objects was much more so.  His “impact” dress, which transitions from opaque to transparent and can be triggered by voice recognition inspired another novel application which raised an appreciative smile from the audience; the “Yes But…” chair delivers an electric shock to the seat of the person who utters every designers’ least favourite phrase.  …

Rogan also comments on ‘lighted textiles’ at the conference,

The conference had a strong bias towards “lighted” textiles with no fewer than seven presentations covering these applications.  Conversely, and in strong contrast to previous conferences, there was almost no mention of textile based wearable physiological monitoring (other than in Prof. Daniel Berckman’s fascinating look at the algorithms behind such devices at M3-BIORES).  These two sectors probably account for most of the development and commercialization efforts in e-textiles to date, but with the recent surge in demand for monitoring products fuelled by a growing number of “hardware” devices such as the Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Nike Fuelband etc, the omission of wearable monitoring was surprising.

She goes on to mention Moritz Waldemeyer, a British/German designer and engineer (there’s more in the Wikipedia essay) who I heard speak at the 2009 International Symposium on Electronic Arts (SEA) in Belfast, Northern Ireland (as per my Sept. 9, 2009 posting). He does some really stunning work as can be seen on his website, I particularly like this work for the Olympics (I believe these were for the 2010 London Olympics),

Dancers during the Olympic closing ceremony [Downloaded from: http://www.waldemeyer.com/olympic-ceremonies]

Dancers during the Olympic closing ceremony [Downloaded from: http://www.waldemeyer.com/olympic-ceremonies]

Rogan briefly describes a number of different themes including bio-mimetic inspired responsive textiles, shape shifting devices, flexible batteries, DIY (do-it-yourself) and hacking all of which are illustrated with more images.

For anyone who’s interested, there’s an upcoming Smart Fabrics + Wearable Technology 2014 conference in San Francisco (California, US) from April 23 – 25,2014. (I believe the conference is run 2x per year with a North American version in the Spring and a European version in the Fall.)

Stretchable carbon nanotubes as supercapacitors

This Nov. 25, 2013 news item on phys.org was a bit of a walk down memory lane for me,

A mobile telephone display for your jacket sleeve, ECG probes for your workout clothes—wearable electronics are in demand. In order for textiles with built-in electronics to function over longer periods of time, all of the components need to be flexible and stretchable. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Chinese researchers have now introduced a new type of supercapacitor that fulfills this requirement. Its components are fiber-shaped and based on carbon nanotubes.

The reference to a mobile telephone display on a jacket sleeve brought back memories of Nokia’s proposed Morph device,, from my Aug. 3, 2011 posting,

For anyone who’s not familiar with the Morph, it’s an idea that Nokia and the University of Cambridge’s Nanoscience Centre have been working on for the last few years. Originally announced as a type of flexible phone that you could wrap around your wrist, the Morph is now called a concept.  …

At the time I was writing about exploring the use of graphene to enable the morph (flexible phone). This latest work from China is focused on carbon nanotubes,. The Angewandte Chemie Nov. 25, 2013 press release, which originated the news item on phys.org,  provides more details,

For electronic devices to be incorporated into textiles or plastic films, their components must be stretchable. This is true for LEDS, solar cells, transistors, circuits, and batteries—as well as for the supercapacitors often used for static random access memory (SRAM). SRAM is often used as a cache in processors or for local storage on chips, as well as in devices that must maintain their data over several years with no source of power.

Previous stretchable electronic components have generally been produced in a conventional planar format, which has been an obstacle to their further development for use in small, lightweight, wearable electronics. Initial attempts to produce supercapacitors in the form of wires or fibers produced flexible—but not stretchable—components. However, stretchability is a required feature for a number of applications. For example, electronic textiles would easily tear if they were not stretchable.

A team led by Huisheng Peng at Fudan University has now developed a new family of highly stretchable, fiber-shaped, high-performance supercapacitors. The devices are made by a winding process with an elastic fiber at the core. The fiber is coated with an electrolyte gel and a thin layer of carbon nanotubes is wound around it like a sheet of paper. This is followed by a second layer of electrolyte gel, another layer of carbon nanotube wrap, and a final layer of electrolyte gel.

The delicate “sheets” of carbon nanotubes are produced by chemical vapor deposition and a spinning process. In the sheets this method produces, the tiny tubes are aligned in parallel. These types of layers display a remarkable combination of properties: They are highly flexible, tear-resistant, conductive, and thermally and mechanically stable. In the wound fibers, the two layers of carbon nanotubes act as electrodes. The electrolyte gel separates the electrodes from each other while stabilizing the nanotubes during stretching so that their alignment is maintained. This results in supercapacitor fibers with a high capacity that is maintained after many stretching cycles.

For the curious, here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

A Highly Stretchable, Fiber-Shaped Supercapacitor by Zhibin Yang, Jue Deng, Xuli Chen, Jing Ren, and Prof. Huisheng Peng. Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013 DOI: 10.1002/anie.201307619

Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

This article is behind a paywall.

A $20,000+, bulletproof, carbon nanotube-enabled business suit from a Toronto-based company (Canada) being tested Nov. 5, 2013

Garrison Bespoke, a high fashion, men’s tailoring business, has developed a bulletproof business suit, which they will be testing tomorrow, Nov. 5, 2013 at the Ajax Rod and Gun Club at 11:00 am EST near Toronto, Ontario. Here’s more from the Nov. 4, 2013 news item on Nanowerk,

Toronto-based luxury bespoke tailoring house Garrison Bespoke will launch the first fashion-forward bulletproof suit tomorrow with a live ammo field-testing event at the Ajax Rod and Gun Club at 11:00 am EST in Ontario.

“After receiving requests from high-profile clients who travel to dangerous places for work, we set out to develop a lightweight, fashion-forward bulletproof suit as a more discreet and stylish alternative to wearing a bulky vest underneath,” said Michael Nguyen, co-owner and bespoke tailor of Garrison Bespoke.

Here’s an image of the suit,

The Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit is a discreet and stylish alternative to the traditional bulky Kevlar vest. (PRNewsFoto/Garrison Bespoke) [downloaded from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-fashion-forward-bulletproof-suit-using-us-military-grade-bulletproof-technology-launches-tomorrow-by-canadas-garrison-bespoke-230481881.html]

The Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit is a discreet and stylish alternative to the traditional bulky Kevlar vest. (PRNewsFoto/Garrison Bespoke) [downloaded from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-fashion-forward-bulletproof-suit-using-us-military-grade-bulletproof-technology-launches-tomorrow-by-canadas-garrison-bespoke-230481881.html]

The Nov. 4, 2013 Garrison Bespoke news release (on PR Newswire), which originated the news item, explains why the company made this investment,

“After receiving requests from high-profile clients who travel to dangerous places for work, we set out to develop a lightweight, fashion-forward bulletproof suit as a more discreet and stylish alternative to wearing a bulky vest underneath,” said Michael Nguyen, co-owner and bespoke tailor of Garrison Bespoke.

The Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit is made with carbon nanotubes created using nanotechnology and originally developed to protect the US 19th Special Forces in Iraq. The patented material is thinner, more flexible and fifty per cent lighter than Kevlar, which is traditionally used for bulletproof gear. The Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit also protects against stabbing – the carbon nanotubes harden on impact preventing a knife from penetrating.

The cost of a Garrison Bespoke bulletproof suit starts at $20,000.

The live ammo field-testing event tomorrow will demonstrate the suit’s capabilities and offer a first look at Garrison Bespoke’s new collection, Town & Country, inspired by the great outdoors. Each piece in the new collection can be made bulletproof by request.

For anyone who wants to order the suit now, you can go here on the Garrison Bespoke website, meanwhile, the news release offers this gem of a description for the company,

Garrison Bespoke is a luxury menswear boutique in Toronto’s Financial District that creates custom garments to help clients make their mark. Designed with modern style and classic foundations, Garrison Bespoke pieces are conservative enough to create credibility but unique enough to stand out. A sharp pinstripe suit with crushed jade woven into the cloth for good luck is one client’s signature look. [emphasis mine] Secret suit pockets are the norm.

It would be nice to know a bit more about this cloth and carbon nanotubes but so far I haven’t been able to find any more information. Perhaps I’ll send the company via their public relations intermediaries some questions.

‘Silverized’ clothing and wearable electronics

A July 30, 2013 news item on ScienceDaily features a technique for printing silver directly onto fibres,

Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s National Measurement Institute, have developed a way to print silver directly onto fibres. This new technique could make integrating electronics into all types of clothing simple and practical. This has many potential applications in sports, health, medicine, consumer electronics and fashion.

Most current plans for wearable electronics require weaving conductive materials into fabrics, which offer limited flexibility and can only be achieved when integrated into the design of the clothing from the start. [emphasis mine] NPL’s technique could allow lightweight circuits to be printed directly onto complete garments.

The July 30, 2013 National Physical Laboratory news release on EurekAlert, which originated the news item, provides a little more detail,

Silver coated fibres created using this technique are flexible and stretchable, meaning circuits can be easily printed onto many different types of fabric, including wool which is knitted in tight loops.

The technique involves chemically bonding a nano‐silver layer onto individual fibres to a thickness of 20 nm. The conductive silver layer fully encapsulates fibres and has good adhesion and excellent conductivity.

The researchers don’t appear to have published a paper but there is a bit more information on the NPL’s Smart Textiles webpage,

At NPL the Electronics Interconnection group has developed a new method to produce conductive textiles. This new technique could make integrating electronics into all types of clothing simple and practical by enabling lightweight circuits to be printed directly onto complete garments.

The nano silver material is chemically bonded to the fabric, encapsulating the fibres and providing full coverage. The resulting textile demonstrates good adhesion, flexibility and is stretchable achieving excellent resistivity of 0.2 Ω/sq.

My May 9, 2012 posting concerns a project where batteries were being woven into textiles for the US military.

New ‘smart’ textiles market report from Cientifica

I’ve written about Cientifica and its reports before including their previous ‘smart’ textiles report (Nanotechnologies for Textile Markets published in April 2012; scroll down about 1/2 way) in (coincidentally) a May 15, 2012 posting about textiles and nanotechnology.

Today I received notification that the 2013 report is available for purchase. Here’s more about this year’s report from the Smart Textiles and Nanotechnology: Applications, Technologies and Markets Cientifica market report webpage,

Expanded and revised for 2013, over 264 pages “Smart Textiles and Nanotechnologies: Applications Technologies and Markets” looks at the technologies involved, the companies applying them, and the impact on sectors including apparel, home, military, technical and medical textiles.

Detailed market figures are given from 2012-2022, along with an analysis of the key opportunities, illustrated with 123 figures and 14 tables.

With over a billion Bluetooth enabled devices on the market, ranging from smartphones to set top boxes, and new technologies such as energy scavenging or piezoelectric energy generation being made possible by the use of nanotechnologies , there are opportunities for the textile industry in new markets ranging from consumer electronics to medical diagnostics.

This report provides an in-depth presentation of recent developments in nanotechnology applied to smart textiles and provides market opportunities to 2022. The market is segmented by

Clothing & Apparel
Home Textiles
Military Textiles
Medical Textiles
Sport Textiles
Technical and Smart Textiles

Companies mentioned in this report include:

AdidasAdvanPro Limited
Advanced Nano Products, Inc.AiQ Smart Clothing Inc.

Arc’teryx,
Asahi Kasei
Avelana
Balton Sp. Z.o.o
BASF
Beijing ChamGo Nano-Tech CoBelt Tech
BigSky Technologies LLC

Canada Goose,

Cocona Fabric
Cook Medical
CTT Group
Cyanine Technologies srlDaniel Hechter,

Duke University, USA
DuPont
DuPont Speciality ChemicalsDuro Textiles
Eddie Bauer

Formosa Taffeta
Forster Rohner AG
Foster Miller

Gap
Greenyarn

Kao Corp.
Kao Corp. Japan
Kennedy & Violich ArchitectureKing’s Metal Fiber Technologies

Lee Jeans
Levi StrauusLG Chem
LiberecLindstrand Technologies
LLBean
Lockheed Martin Corp
Louis Vuitton
Mammut,
Marks & SpencerMC10
Misfit Wearables
Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
Nano Phase Technologies Corporation (NTC)

Nanyan Textiles
nCoat, Inc
New Balance
Nike
Nordstrom
NovaThera

Philips Lighting
Piedmont Chemical Industries, Inc
Pikeur
Polo Ralph LaurenPolar Elektro

Samsung

Sony
SparkFunSphelar Power Corp.
Suzutora
Takeda Chemical Industries
Teijin Fibres Ltd
Texnology Nano Textile (China), Ltd.Tex-Ray

United Textile Mills

Unexpectedly, I noticed a couple of Canadian entries in the company list: Arc’teryx and Canada Goose.

You can find out more about Cientifica on its About Us page,

Cientifica was founded as CMP Cientifica in Madrid in 1997 in order to meet the advanced analytical needs of the European Space Agency.

By 2000 the company was already meeting the increasing demand for information on emerging technologies to both the business and academic communities. Cientifica also launched Europe’s largest nanotechnology conference; TNT 2000, the world’s first conference dealing with investing in nanotechnologies; I2Nano, and the worlds first weekly information source dedicated to Nanotechnology; TNT Weekly.

In 2002 Cientifica published the first edition of  ‘The Nanotechnology Opportunity Report’, described by NASA as “the defining report in the field of nanotechnology.”

Cientifica is distinct from all other companies providing consulting and information services. It combines knowledge and expertise in both the science and business of emerging technologies, with nearly 20 years’ experience in the field of science and research, and nearly 10 years’ providing information on the business and science of emerging technologies.  Cientifica employees are all highly experienced technical project managers and familiar not only with the commercialization of technology but also with the technology transfer of science from the laboratory to the marketplace.

The cost of this latest ‘smart’ textiles report is: GBP 1499.00 / USD 2349.00.

Nanotechnology-enabled fashion at Cornell University

The image you see below is one of several featuring work from Cornell University’s Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory,

Wearable Charging StationCredit: Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory/Cornell UniversityAbbey Liebman, a design student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., created a dress made with conductive cotton that can charge an iPhone via solar panels.

Wearable Charging StationCredit: Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory/Cornell University. Abbey Liebman, a design student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., created a dress made with conductive cotton that can charge an iPhone via solar panels.

It’s part of a May 7, 2013 slide show put together by Denise Chow at the LiveScience website. Also shown in the slide show are Olivia Ong’s anti-bacterial clothing (featured here in an Aug. 5, 2011 posting) and some anti-malarial clothing by Matilda Ceesay (featured here in a May 15, 2012 posting). I have more details about the textiles and the work but the pictures on LiveScience are better.

As I’ve not come across LiveScience before ,my curiosity was piqued and to satisfy it, I found this on their About page,

LiveScience, launched in 2004, is the trusted and provocative source for highly accessible science, health and technology news for people who are curious about their minds, bodies, and the world around them. Our team of experienced science reporters, editors and video producers explore the latest discoveries, trends and myths, interviewing expert sources and offering up deep and broad analyses of topics that affect peoples’ lives in meaningful ways. LiveScience articles are regularly featured on the web sites of our media partners: MSNBC.com, Yahoo!, the Christian Science Monitor and others.

Most of the science on LiveScience is ‘bite-sized’ and provides information for people who are busy and/or don’t want much detail.

Getting intimate with your smart clothing at Concordia University (Canada)

The Karma Chameleon project at Concordia University is an investigation into ‘smart’ clothing that goes beyond the ‘how to’ and also asks how would we feel about clothing than can transform itself without our volition. An Apr. 16, 2013 news item on ScienceDaily highlights the project and its lead researcher, Joanna Berkowska,

Joanna Berzowska, professor and chair of the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia, has developed interactive electronic fabrics that harness power directly from the human body, store that energy, and then use it to change the garments’ visual properties.

“Our goal is to create garments that can transform in complex and surprising ways — far beyond reversible jackets, or shirts that change colour in response to heat. That’s why the project is called Karma Chameleon,” says Berzowska.

The Apr. 15, 2013 Concordia University news release by Emily Essert, which originated the news item, describes the unique technical aspect of this work,

The major innovation of this research project is the ability to embed these electronic or computer functions within the fibre itself: rather than being attached to the textile, the necessary electronic components are woven into these new composite fibres. The fibres consist of multiple layers of polymers, which, when stretched and drawn out to a small diameter, begin to interact with each other. The fabric, produced in collaboration with the École Polytechnique de Montréal’s Maksim Skorobogatiy, represent a significant advance in the development of “smart textiles.”

Although it’s not yet possible to manufacture clothing with the new composite fibres, Berzowska worked with fashion designers to create conceptual prototypes that can help us visualize how such clothing might look and behave. Imagine a dress that changes shape and colour on its own, or a shirt that can capture the energy from human movement and use it to charge an iPhone

According to Berzowska, it will be two to three decades before we see this clothing in the stores but in the meantime she’s also investigating the social impact (from the Concordia news release),

There would also be a performative aspect to wearing such garments, whose dramatic transformations may or may not be controlled by the wearer. This research raises interesting questions about human agency relative to fashion and computers. What would it mean to wear a piece of clothing with “a mind of its own,” that cannot be consciously controlled? How much intimate contact with computers do we really want?

Apparently, there will be a show at Montréal’s PHi Centre in either 2o13 or 2014, Unfortunately the centre does not list any events planned after June 2013.

The project title, Karma Chameleon gives me an excuse to feature Boy George’s identically titled hit song,

I’d never seen the video before and it was a revelation. Tip: Do not pickpocket jewellery or cheat at cards; Karma will get you.