Silver nanowire coated threads for electrically conductive textiles
The emerging area of e-textiles requires electrically conductive threads. We demonstrate that nylon, polyester, and cotton threads can be made conductive by coating their surfaces with random networks of solution-synthesized silver nanowires. A resistance per unit length of 0.8 Ω cm−1 was achieved and can be varied through the density of the nanowire coating. Because the nanowires are 35 nm in diameter, and the mesh structure does not cover the entire surface like a thin-film, less metal is used compared to conventional silver-coated conductive threads. This leads to a much lower weight and mechanically flexible coating. The functionality of the thread as a heater and the fabrication of stretchable conductive thread are also demonstrated.