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Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
Sure, researchers are working on stretchable electronics for sports wear, printing RFID tags with magic ink and even spaser-based circuits on clothes. But what about electronic circuits woven into kevlar for super tough, bullet-proof clothing with circuits?
(Weaving highly conductive tungsten-on-Kevlar yarns)
A group of North Carolina State University researchers is exploring novel ways to apply semiconductor industry processes to unique substrates, such as textiles and fabrics, to "weave together" multifunctional materials with distinct capabilities.
During the AVS 61st International Symposium & Exhibition, being held November 9-14, 2014, in Baltimore, Maryland, the researchers will describe how they were able to "weave" high-strength, highly conductive yarns made of tungsten metal on Kevlar -- aka body armor material -- by using atomic layer deposition (ALD), a process commonly used for producing memory and logic devices.
"As a substrate, Kevlar was intriguing to us because it's capable of withstanding the relatively high temperature (220°C) required by the ALD deposition process," explains Sarah Atanasov, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomolecular Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. "Kevlar doesn't begin to degrade until it reaches nearly 400°C."
Printing electronic devices on your bullet-proof clothing would be cool, and the general idea was developed by science fiction writers like Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, who wrote about a sleeve watch in their 1981 novel Dream Park.
Alex rolled his wrist over to check the watch imprinted on his sleeve. (Expensive indulgence. Even dry-cleaning eventually messed up the printed circuitry.)
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