Multifunctional fabrics of carbon nanotube fibers†
With their impressive properties such as high mechanical strength, high electrical and thermal conductivities, good corrosion and oxidation resistance, and excellent structural flexibility, carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers hold great promise for developing multifunctional fabrics. However, the preparation of such fabrics containing only CNT fibers through mature textile technologies in a fully automatic way remains a big challenge. Here, for the first time, we report the automatic fabrication of CNT fiber fabrics. This is achieved through knitting yarns composed of CNT fibers that are produced from a floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition based process using an automatic weft knitting machine. The resulting all-CNT fiber fabrics are flexible, light weight, mechanically strong, and electrically and thermally conductive. The promising applications of such multifunctional fabrics are demonstrated by using them as fast-responding electrothermal heaters and as high-performance fabric electrodes in flexible supercapacitors. We expect that this study will pave a new way for the use of CNT fibers in real-world applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers