How would you feel having solar cells in/on your clothes to recharge your small devices? You have to admit, it does sound a little bit weird, to say the least… However, we wouldn’t be talking about anything gross or conventional: just some tiny titanium semiconducting nanorods, in the form of hairbrushes developed on the surface of carbon fibers.
The care of how to shape up these clothes fell into the hands of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and Xiamen University in China.
They figured out how to develop Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanorods in a way that discards the high temperatures responsible for the crackings in the material; it’s called the “dissolve and grow” method.
At first, researchers were unsure how to transform the pure Ti foil into the form of TiO2 nanorods or how to cover the carbon fibers with nanorods and display them uniformly on the fibers. In the end, it hit them that, by using this method, the TiO2 nanorods can be brought to maturity even on flexible surfaces while still capturing the light from any direction.
So don’t say “no” until you’ve actually tried one such piece of clothing on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up buying entire lines of them.
Mike is a master student of graphic design and is particularly interested in green designs and green technologies that affect people directly. Besides publishing, he supervises any changes in the site's aesthetics. The current logo is his concept.