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. 2019 Dec 5;10(1):5541.
doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13569-5.

All-fiber Tribo-Ferroelectric Synergistic Electronics With High Thermal-Moisture Stability and Comfortability

Free PMC article

All-fiber Tribo-Ferroelectric Synergistic Electronics With High Thermal-Moisture Stability and Comfortability

Weifeng Yang et al. Nat Commun. .
Free PMC article


Developing fabric-based electronics with good wearability is undoubtedly an urgent demand for wearable technologies. Although the state-of-the-art fabric-based wearable devices have shown unique advantages in the field of e-textiles, further efforts should be made before achieving "electronic clothing" due to the hard challenge of optimally unifying both promising electrical performance and comfortability in single device. Here, we report an all-fiber tribo-ferroelectric synergistic e-textile with outstanding thermal-moisture comfortability. Owing to a tribo-ferroelectric synergistic effect introduced by ferroelectric polymer nanofibers, the maximum peak power density of the e-textile reaches 5.2 W m-2 under low frequency motion, which is 7 times that of the state-of-the-art breathable triboelectric textiles. Electronic nanofiber materials form hierarchical networks in the e-textile hence lead to moisture wicking, which contributes to outstanding thermal-moisture comfortability of the e-textile. The all-fiber electronics is reliable in complicated real-life situation. Therefore, it is an idea prototypical example for electronic clothing.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1. The structure of the e-textile and the proposal of tribo-ferroelectric synergy model.
a The physical (one piece of the e-textile 105 × 35 cm) and structural diagram of an all-fiber contact-separation mode tribo-ferroelectric synergistic e-textile. b The P-E loop of P(VDF-TrFE) nanofiber ferroelectricity. Us and Ur are the energy stored in (red area) and released from (green area) ferroelectricity during the change of applied electric field, Pm and Pr are the maximum and remnant polarization intensity, respectively. Eb is the highest electric field a dielectric can sustain. c The hysteresis loop of P(VDF-TrFE) nanofiber ferroelectricity under different applied electric fields. d Schematic diagram of tribo-ferroelectric synergistic model between ferroelectricity and internal electric field of triboelectric device. E0, ED, Ed, Ep, Ee are the electric field intensity between dielectric and conductive layer, inside the ferroelectric layer, inside the PA6 layer, generated by the other dipoles and acting on dipoles effectively, respectively. D and d are the thickness of ferroelectric layer and PA6, μ is dipole moment, θ is the angle between dipole moment and Ee. e Influence of the primary polarization direction of P(VDF-TrFE) nanofibers on performance of the e-textile. The error bars correspond to standard deviation caused by the measurement noise. f Effect of inner/outer ferroelectric layer thickness on performance of the e-textile. The e-textile tested in experiment were uniformly sized to 4 × 6 cm.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2. Working mechanism of the tribo-ferroelectric synergistic electronics.
a The output charge density and b short-current of UP, SFP and DFP e-textiles during contact and separation. c The surface potential (tribo-negative materials) versus time of UP, SFP and DFP e-textiles during contact and separation. Surface states model and ANSYS simulation for explaining the effect of ferroelectric polarization on surface charge transfer in d PA6 and unpolarized P(VDF-TrFE), e PA6 and P(VDF-TrFE) with single ferroelectric polarization effect, f PA6 and P(VDF-TrFE) with dual ferroelectric polarization effect during contact and separation. g A surface states model for explaining the tribo-ferroelectric synergistic effect between the ferroelectricity and triboelectric internal electric field when e-textile is in contact and separate state. EF, Fermi level; EVAC, vacuum level; LUMO, the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital; HOMO, the highest occupied molecular orbital. EF1 and EF2 represent the Fermi level (gray dashed line) of PA6 and P(VDF-TrFE) before contact, respectively. EF1’ and EF2’ represent the Fermi level (red straight line) of PA6 and P(VDF-TrFE) after contact, respectively.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3. Construction of all-fiber e-textile with high thermal-moisture stability and comfortability.
a The e-textile exhibits good wearability which has the functions of breathability, moisture permeability and moisture wicking. b Schematic diagram of air permeability, moisture permeability of the e-textile. c Schematic diagram of the moisture wicking function of the e-textile in sweating state. From top to bottom, including skin, the moisture-wicking fabric (PAN-PA6-cotton fabric), conductive and dielectric fabric (fabric electrode-P(VDF-TrFE)-PA6). Air convection direction: green arrow. Liquid water transport direction: black dotted arrow. Water vapor transport direction: blue dotted arrow. Wettability gradient: the transition from light blue to dark blue indicates that the water content in the fiber layer changes from less to more. d Micrographs, contact angles of hydrophilic PAN and PA6 fibers. e Pore size distribution of hydrophilic PAN and PA6 fibers. f Water evaporation rate of cotton fabric, cotton-PAN fabric and cotton-PA6-PAN fabric (the moisture-wicking fabric). g Wetting behavior (ink droplets, 200 μL) of the moisture-wicking fabric from the top view.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4. Evaluating the wearability and electrical output performance of the e-textile.
a Air permeability test shows the air flow rate through the textile at a pressure difference of 100 Pa on both sides. b Water vapor transmission rate test indicates the penetration of sweat or moisture on textiles. c Thermal and evaporative resistance test examines the obstacles of heat and moisture flow from skin to environment. The error bars correspond to standard deviation caused by the statistical uncertainty of measurement. d The effect of introducing the moisture-wicking fabric on the output performance of e-textile under different sweat amount (simulating human body sweating). When the adult is in exercise (including American football, baseball, basketball, soccer and tennis), the whole-body sweating rates are about 1.21 ± 0.68 L h−1. The error bars correspond to standard deviation caused by the measurement noise.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5. Various applications of the e-textile.
The e-textile is a sewn together with common fabrics and b sewn into clothes to power the LCD by shaking the clothes. E-textile is sewn on the surface of clothes to drive c digital electroluminescent lattices and d electronic watch by collecting the energy of shoulder movement. e E-textiles are used for self-charging, self-sensing gesture monitoring system. The circuit diagram of the self-charging and self-sensing wireless gesture monitoring system. It mainly consists of 6 parts, which are: 1, Energy harvesting; 2, Energy storage and output; 3, Signal processing and transmission; 4, Correction circuit; 5, Pressure sensing; 6, Data reception and analysis. The short distance wireless communication technology was used to send and receive data in real time. f Hardware connection of self-powered gesture monitoring system placed on a 3D-printed insole. g Self-powered gesture monitoring system captures gait during human movement and transmits it to smartphone or computer in real time. h The charge curve of two commercial lithium batteries (LIR 2032) charged by e-textile at a fixed frequency of 2 Hz and the discharge curve of gesture monitoring system during normal operation.

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