In recent years, researchers have been studying various materials that can be used in flexible, wearable heaters. Although materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene have excellent electrical and optical properties, processing them for applications has always been a challenge. Researchers at Drexel University introduced for the first time a new material, titanium carbide (MXene). Titanium carbide is a two-dimensional crystalline material with metal-like conductivity and strong electrical-thermal conversion properties. It can also be easily processed into films and fabrics.
By immersing the heater in liquid nitrogen for 5 minutes, the researchers proved that the heater can play the role of defrosting, and can quickly remove the frost on the surface below 12v. As a proof of its high flexibility, the heater can be folded at a 90 ° angle without adding any resistance, and it can continue to work even when folded in half, although the resistance is greater. The researchers also proved that titanium carbide flakes could be used to make heated fabrics. To do this, the researchers treated commercial polymer threads with a coating to enhance their electrostatic interaction with the titanium carbide flakes. They then immersed the thread in an aqueous solution containing titanium carbide flakes.
The electrostatic interaction between the positively charged thread and the negatively charged sheet causes the sheet to self-assemble onto a single fiber, making the white thread black during this process, and then seam the manganese dioxide coated thread with cotton Together, make heated clothes. At low voltage, each piece of titanium carbide acts as a small heater. By controlling the voltage, researchers can gradually restore the temperature of cold skin to normal body temperature without damaging the skin. In future applications, heated clothing can be powered by traditional batteries or alternative energy sources.
The heater may be powered by energy stored in batteries and / or supercapacitors from various emerging renewable energy sources, such as wearable solar cells, frictional generators, etc. Researchers anticipate that this rugged, flexible heating suit can be used for personal applications such as medical treatment, hyperthermia, and monitoring. The titanium carbide flakes developed by the solution method have high conductivity and optical transparency, so they can be applied to a variety of applications, especially where transparent electrodes are required. Examples include the development of mechanically flexible and therefore, wearable organic light-emitting diode displays, photodetectors, transparent touch and / or pressure sensors.
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