Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GFSMART (Design and Integration of Graphene Fibre Based Antennas for Smart Textiles)
Période du rapport: 2018-04-01 au 2020-03-31
We attempted to create a graphene-based communicating piece of cloth that grounded in textile making knowledge, electronics and material science. Different antennas for ultra-wideband communication that benefits from graphene assemblies as the radiating element such as graphene fibres, chemical vapour deposition (CVD) grown multi-layer (ML) graphene sheets on the textile surfaces and as a reference graphene-based inks were designed. The promised textile-based antennas covered a wide bandwidth ranging from 3 GHz to 9 GHz, which is a promising solution for a high data rate and efficient communication link. We highlighted the textile requirements that we can positively contribute to the wearing comfort and sustainability of e-textiles when offering technological communication solutions. Also, several issues associated with being worn on the body and the effects of bending and proximity to the human body on the antenna’s overall performance were investigated.
The project followed this methodology to fabricate soft communicating interface:
1. Macroscopic assembly of graphene-based fibres: Continuous wet-spinning assembly approach to continuously spin flexible graphene oxide (GO) fibres were performed and optimised based on the elasticity and strength of the yarns by tuning coagulation bath composition and annealing. The bench-top automated wet spinning system was designed to spin graphene fibres continuously.
2. Macroscopic assembly of chemical vapour deposition (CVD) grown multi-layer (ML) graphene sheets on textiles: We introduced CVD grown ML graphene sheets on a cellulosic textile substrate to fabricate wearable antennas for body-centric wireless communication, and worked on the compatibility of the surfaces to ensure wearers’ comfort and weight penalty of radiating elements.
3. Exploring off-the-shelves graphene-based and other metallic inks and threads
4. Graphene-based textile antenna fabrication: A series of different textile antennas were designed and reported based on the communication protocol and the textile making method used. Monopole graphene-based thread antennas were fabricated by tuning the twist count, the number of yarns in a bundle and the length of the device, that later can be integrated into the cloth by weaving in the weft direction. Different variations in planar inverted cone antennas were proposed for CVD grown ML graphene-based textile antennas, and a new integration technique was proposed that promotes high durability and washability in wearable antenna systems.
5. Antenna Characterisation and Simulations of Graphene-Based Textile Antennas: Both fibre-based and textile-based antennas were studied experimentally and numerically based on on/off body performance.
6. Identifying technology and tactile preferences of elderly people mainly affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
7. Tuning the design of wireless-communicating graphene-based textile antenna systems
The project results were disseminated as proceedings in international conferences including AUTEX, SNAIA, IEEE- APS, ITMC2019, as journal articles in Applied Materials Today and Nano Letters. Project highlights were posted on social media such as Twitter, Instagram and host-institution and collaborators' web pages. Communicating cloth prototypes were also showcased in Smart Textiles Saloon 2019, and in public engagement event, “Science is Wonderful” in 2019. Two professional videos were filmed to address the scale and scope of the GFSMART project and also screened in the “Intersections” conference in London. Two non-academic news articles were featured as part of GFSMART research."