tungsten Filaments Applied in Programmable Fibers
- Category: Tungsten’s News
- Published on Monday, 12 July 2021 23:10
25-micron tungsten filaments are applied in novel programmable fibers which can be made into clothes for smart activities. In recent years, wearable devices have always been a hot spot in the field of science and technology. Whether it is clothing that has a sense of touch like skin, or textiles that use human energy to power small devices, wearable devices can always refresh our imagination.
Recently, researchers have successfully embedded microchips into a single fiber and invented a new type of programmable fibers that can be made into clothing to achieve smart activities.
Fiber is one of the base elements to construct the world and one of the important inventions of mankind. According to Chinese archaeological discoveries, humans have been using fiber materials for more than 5,000 years ago. They are woven into textiles to provide shelter, warmth and cold resistance for humans.
In recent years, with the rapid development of information technology and artificial intelligence, fiber materials are equipped with a series of new functions such as power generation, energy storage, light emission, color change, deformation, and sensing.
Compared with block and film devices, fibrous electronic devices can be tightly adhere to irregular substrates, can adapt to complex deformations such as twisting and stretching, and have unique properties such as air permeability and moisture conductivity. These advantages make fiber electronic devices have a wide range of applications in power supply systems, information technology, artificial intelligence, health, and space detection.
MIT researchers have created the first fiber with digital capabilities, able to sense, store, analyze, and infer activity after being sewn into a shirt.
In a new study, the researchers used thermal stretching technology to embed 4 micron-scale chips composed of tungsten filaments with a diameter of 25 microns into prefabricated polymer fibers to make them bendable and resistant to lengths of up to tens of meters. This technology can keep the microchip in the fiber firmly connected, and can prevent it from being damaged when passing through the eye of the needle and knitting into the clothing. Because the fiber itself is also soft enough, it will not cause discomfort when wearing.
With this analytic power, the fibers someday could sense and alert people in real-time to health changes like a respiratory decline or an irregular heartbeat, or deliver muscle activation or heart rate data to athletes during training.
The work of tungsten filaments for programmable fibers has been published in Nature Communications. Until now, electronic fibers have been analog, carrying a continuous electrical signal, where discrete bits of information could be encoded and processed in 0s and 1s.
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