London: Scientists have created a low-cost,flexible and light-weight textile material that may be used in light-emitting clothing, signs and architecture.
"Our work shows that ultra-flexible light emission on large areas can be realised on very lightweight textile electrodes," said Thomas Lanz from Umea University in Sweden.
"Traditionally, this was hard to come by, as these electrodes are typically quite rough. We have demonstrated that the light-emitting electrochemical cell's inherent fault tolerance is ideally suited for this type of transparent substrate," Lanz told 'Phys.org'.
Researchers see huge applications for this technology in the field of wearables, as the device is highly conformal.
The advantages of this new transparent fabric are its high flexibility, light weight, and low cost.
As of now, the most common transparent and flexible light-emitting device technology is the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), whose fabrication process involves expensive vacuum technology, researchers said.
The light-emitting textile developed by researchers is made by spray-coating a light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC) onto a transparent fabric-based electrode, which results in a simpler and less expensive fabrication process compared to that used to make OLEDs.
The fabric electrode consists of a weave of silver-coated copper wires and polymer fibres that are embedded in a polymer matrix, all of which is coated with a conductive ink.
Researchers found that the new textile emits highly uniform, bright yellow light for more than 180 hours, with the efficiency and luminescence increasing over time.
The findings were published in the journal Flexible and Printed Electronics....