Qiyao Huang1 Zijian Zheng1

1, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, , Hong Kong

Owing to the growing demand in wearable electronics, more and more attention has been drawn to the exploitation for suitable energy/power storage devices that not only have reasonable energy/power density and cycling life, but also have good flexibility and comfort. Particularlly, the rapid development of electronic textiles, with electronic functions integrated into yarn, fabrics, or even clothes, highly requires the power devices that are durable, washable, and able to be designed into fashionable forms. Regarding these requisitions, developing flexible supercapacitors (SCs) based on textile material and structure is an ideal strategy. This is because SC shows advantages on high power density, fast charge/discharge capability, long cycle life and safety among many energy storage devices. Moreover, the as-made electronic textiles will not have too much sacrifice with softness, lightweight and comfort. However, to date, the major challenge in the development of such wearable SC textiles is still acquiring the high flexibility and durability under various wearing conditions while maintaining their electrochemical properties, by using simple and scalable fabrication method.

Therefore, we herein propose an additive manufacturing strategy to fabricate wearable and washable SC fabrics based on composite textile electrodes. Composite textile elesctrodes, which are metallic textiles coated with active materials such as reduced graphene oxide, multi-walled carbon nanotubes by different facile and scalable methods, can be steadily integrated into different patterns as SC devices on various fabric subsrates. The as-made SCs not only show good electrochemical performances but also maintain textile-like flexibility. Most importantly, the integration method we utilize allows the stylish design of SC fabrics, without the use of any costly and sophiscated substrative methods that are normally used in fabricating in-plane SCs. After proper encapsulation, the wearable SC fabric can be machine-washed without obvious capacitance degradation. Considering the low-cost, facile and scalabe fabrication, and compatibility with stylish design, our additive manufacturing approach shows great potential for making SC as power supply system for the use in smart textile.