Canadian engineers have created a thin two-layer nylon cloth, able to glow with electricity. It consists of two layers nalona polyurethane fabric coated with a layer of gold acting as a pair of electrodes and located between them an elastic and semitransparent radiating layer. This fabric can be washed, stretch and touch it, despite the electric current. Article published in the journal of the Matter.
Engineers have been working on creating intelligent clothing with integrated electronics, which allows to partially replace additional devices. For example, Google along with Levi’s have released a smart jacket with a touch panel to control the smartphone, but Ford has created a smart jacket for cyclists with built-in “turn signals”. As in almost all other similar devices, regardless of whether serial or not, this jacket as a light source used in rigid modules with LEDs. There are other approaches to the creation of glowing clothes, but they are usually based on rigid components such as fiber.
Tricia Carmichael (Tricia Carmichael) and her colleagues from Insarskogo University have developed a method of creating a flexible and translucent fabric that can glow under the action of the current. The basis scientists took nalona polyurethane fabric with a density of 10 denier, composition and structure similar to the fabric of the tights.
Two layers of fabric act as a pair of electrodes on both sides of the electroluminescent layer. To a non-conductive polymeric fabric could conduct current engineers used metallization in several stages, wherein first the surface of polymer fibers is applied to the catalyst, is then deposited Nickel, and then Nickel is replaced by biocompatible and chemically inert gold, which also conduct current.
A study using scanning electron microscope showed that the surface of nylon fibers is formed of a monolithic film of gold with thickness approximately 100 nanometers and on the surface of the filaments with polyurethane film has many cracks. Electroluminescent layer comprises zinc sulfide doped with copper and elastomer as a matrix.