A new metal deposition technique that covers the entire fibers could pave the way to affordable smart fabrics.
Developed by a team from Imperial College, the process involves covering the material in microscopic silicon particles and then submerging it in a metal ion solution. This SIAM (Si ink-enabled autocatalytic metallization) process allows the metal to grow throughout the fibers and completely coat the material, which in turn ensures the material—such as paper or textiles—retains its flexibility and ability to absorb water.
The team believes the process could be used to create affordable, easily transported sensors inside fabrics that could be integrated as health monitors inside clothing.
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