Personal thermal management by metallic nanowire-coated textile

Nano Lett. 2015 Jan 14;15(1):365-71. doi: 10.1021/nl5036572. Epub 2014 Dec 3.


Heating consumes large amount of energy and is a primary source of greenhouse gas emission. Although energy-efficient buildings are developing quickly based on improving insulation and design, a large portion of energy continues to be wasted on heating empty space and nonhuman objects. Here, we demonstrate a system of personal thermal management using metallic nanowire-embedded cloth that can reduce this waste. The metallic nanowires form a conductive network that not only is highly thermal insulating because it reflects human body infrared radiation but also allows Joule heating to complement the passive insulation. The breathability and durability of the original cloth is not sacrificed because of the nanowires' porous structure. This nanowire cloth can efficiently warm human bodies and save hundreds of watts per person as compared to traditional indoor heaters.

Keywords: low-emissivity materials; metallic nanowires; textile; thermal management.