Articles about Optics and Photonics, Lasers, Fiber Bragg gratings and FBG sensors

Lithography application of ultrafast fiber lasers for smart cloth

on October 25, 2019

laser-2819143_640Recently waterproof energy-storing cloth for smart garments was developed on the basis of carbon-dioxide and ultrafast fiber lasers. Researchers from Australia offer cost-efficient and scalable fiber laser technology that allows fast fabricating textiles with energy-storage devices installed inside them. The technology based on CO2 laser system and ultrafast laser can produce a 10 × 10 cm smart-textile patch that has such benefits as waterproofing, stretchability, herewith, it can be easily integrated with energy-harvesting technologies.

To be more precise, the fiber laser technology promotes graphene supercapacitors (energy-storage devices) to be printed by laser systems directly onto textiles such as nylon. The principle of the technology is based on the combination of a supercapacitor printing by a fiber laser and a photovoltaic cell to create an efficient, washable, self-powering smart fabric. Additionally, the researchers confirm that such a laser system is able to overcome the main disadvantages of current e-textile energy-storage technologies.

It should be noted that the popular smart-fabrics industry finds numerous laser applications in wearable devices for “the consumer, healthcare, and defense sectors, including monitoring vital signs of patients, tracking the location and health status of soldiers in the field, and monitoring pilots and drivers for fatigue”. The most widespread laser system application is considered to be laser lithography.

The thing is that the researchers put an elastomer solution (polydimethylsiloxane) on one side of nylon textile while a solution of graphene oxide and binder is coated onto the other and dried to form a film 3 μm thick. Then CO2 laser and femtosecond laser is used to form the fabric. The carbon laser performs photothermal reduction, while the ultrafast fiber laser achieves a combination of photothermal and photochemical reduction. Thus, the researchers succeeded to produce supercapacitor electrodes 10 μm thick over an area of 100 cm2 with an interelectrode distance of 80 μm with the help of fiber laser systems.

Herewith, the laser beam power of 4.5 W up to 8 W is used for the photoreduction process. Finally, the researchers discovered that after washing and drying the resulting graphene-enhanced cloth 50 times in commercial laundering machines, the electrical conductivity of the thin film, produced by CO2 and ultrafast fiber lasers, remains virtually unchanged compared with its initial state.

It is planned that the fiber laser technology allows real-time storage of renewable energy for e-textiles, as well as a faster roll-to-roll fabrication based on multifocal fabrication and machine learning techniques. If you are looking for a fiber laser of high beam quality, you should choose the Optromix company.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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