Electrically conductive cotton fabric coatings developed by silica sol-gel precursors doped with surfactant-aided dispersion of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes fillers in organic solvent-free aqueous solution

Valentina Trovato, Eti Teblum, Yulia Kostikov, Andrea Pedrana, Valerio Re, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Giuseppe Rosace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypothesis: From the end of the twentieth century, the growing interest in a new generation of wearable electronics with attractive application for military, medical and smart textiles fields has led to a wide investigation of chemical finishes for the production of electronic textiles (e-textiles). Experiments: Herein, a novel method to turn insulating cotton fabrics in electrically conductive by the deposition of three-dimensional hierarchical vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNT) is proposed. Two VACNT samples with different length were synthesized and then dispersed in 4-dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid combined with silica-based sol-gel precursors. The dispersed VACNT were separately compounded with a polyurethane thickener to obtain homogeneous spreadable pastes, finally coated onto cotton surfaces by the “knife-over-roll” technique. Findings: Shorter VACNT-based composite showed the best electrical conductivity, with a sheet resistance value less than 4.0 · 104 ± 6.7 · 103 Ω/sq. As demonstrated, developed e-textiles are suitable for application as humidity sensing materials in wearable smart textiles by exhibiting adequate response time for end-users and repeatability at several exposure cycles, still maintaining excellent flexibility. The proposed environmentally-friendly and cost-effective method can be easily widened to the scalable production of CNT-containing conductive flexible coatings, providing additional support to the development of real integration between electronics and textiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-134
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume586
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Conductive coating
  • Cotton fabric
  • Humidity sensing
  • Sol-gel

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Electrically conductive cotton fabric coatings developed by silica sol-gel precursors doped with surfactant-aided dispersion of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes fillers in organic solvent-free aqueous solution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this