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Core-Spun Carbon Nanotube Yarn Supercapacitors for Wearable Electronic Textiles

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posted on 27.05.2014, 00:00 by Daohong Zhang, Menghe Miao, Haitao Niu, Zhixiang Wei
Linear (fiber or yarn) supercapacitors have demonstrated remarkable cyclic electrochemical performance as power source for wearable electronic textiles. The challenges are, first, to scale up the linear supercapacitors to a length that is suitable for textile manufacturing while their electrochemical performance is maintained or preferably further improved and, second, to develop practical, continuous production technology for these linear supercapacitors. Here, we present a core/sheath structured carbon nanotube yarn architecture and a method for one-step continuous spinning of the core/sheath yarn that can be made into long linear supercapacitors. In the core/sheath structured yarn, the carbon nanotubes form a thin surface layer around a highly conductive metal filament core, which serves as current collector so that charges produced on the active materials along the length of the supercapacitor are transported efficiently, resulting in significant improvement in electrochemical performance and scale up of the supercapacitor length. The long, strong, and flexible threadlike supercapacitor is suitable for production of large-size fabrics for wearable electronic applications.