Scientists have developed a technique to print batteries directly on cotton fabric using graphene, an advance that could power smart electronic textiles in the future. The current hurdle with wearable technology is how to power devices without the need for cumbersome battery packs. Devices known as supercapacitors are one way to achieve this. A supercapacitor acts similarly to a battery but allows for rapid charging which can fully charge devices in seconds.
Researchers from The University of Manchester in the UK developed a flexible supercapacitor device by using conductive graphene-oxide ink to print onto cotton fabric.
The printed electrodes exhibited excellent mechanical stability due to the strong interaction between the ink and textile substrate. Further development of graphene-oxide printed supercapacitors could turn the vast potential of wearable technology into the norm.