Stanford University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering has made advances in creating clothes that would be capable of acting like batteries, holding enough energy to charge our gadgets. The way things appear, these fabrics would be more like lightweight batteries in conventional clothing, and not some weird, impractical dress hiding batteries.
Dr Yi Cui’s research employs single-walled carbon nanotubes coated in ink for storing energy. While this makes the batteries lightweight, the fabric remains stretchable and flexible. More interesting is that unlike conventional batteries, the charge isn’t stored using chemicals; the carbon nanotubes store electrostatic charge, which is much more efficient than the chemical counterparts.
Dr Cui estimates that a fabric weighing the same as an average T-shirt could store up to three times more energy as compared to mobile phone batteries. The carbon nanotube – conductive ink mixture on paper could also be used to create large displays, like moving displays for walls.