SWIFT: Smart Wearable Intelligent Fibre-based Technology

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering

Abstract

Technology and our economy in general, usually advance either by incremental steps (e.g. scaling the size and number of transistors on a chip) or by quantum leaps (transition from vacuum tubes to semiconductor technologies). Disruptive technologies behind such revolutions are usually underpinned by new form of materials with dramatic, orders of magnitude improvements in applications, which change many aspects of our life simultaneously, penetrating every corner of our existence.

Wearable technologies present a market opportunity in excess of $53 billion [Soreon '15] in RCUK priority areas such as healthcare, wellbeing and Internet of Things (IoT). Current wearable technologies rely on rigid electronic components mounted on flexible materials such as plastic films. These offer limited compatibility with the skin in many circumstances, suffer washing and are uncomfortable to wear because they are not breathable.
Turning fibres into functional electronic components can address these problems. Work is already underway to have synthetic fibres with electronic functionality. However, issues such as breathability, washability and comfort still remain, as these are properties associated with natural materials.
This project will enable natural fibres such as cotton and wool to show basic electronic functions such as conductivity and light emission. SWIFT will demonstrate the potential of this approach, create impact and raise awareness. Further work would lead to greater functionality: i.e. sensing.

SWIFT aims to demonstrate new cotton-based optoelectronic fibre components that offer breathability, washability and compatibility with the skin. The project will exploit existing nanomaterials, functional organic materials and polymer composite technology together with the know-how on nanotechnology existing in Cambridge to develop conductive and light-emitting cotton/cellulose fibres that could be woven to make fibre-based, stretchable conductive and light-emitting fabrics for future textile-based wearable displays, sensors or smart patches with potential applications in healthcare, wellbeing, IoT, lighting, sensing.

Planned Impact

The goal of the project is to identify the technology and produce opto-electronic fibres that are washable, breathable and compatible with the human skin as required by healthcare, sports and wellbeing applications. This will also act as a knowledge base to improve wearable electronic and optoelectronic devices through new functional textile components and to deliver cutting edge advances in the sustainable manufacturing, design, testing and integration of novel 1D fibre-based multi-functional opto-electronic components (e.g., light emitting and conductive) with traditional cotton/wool fabrics. Thus, this project will deliver both economic impact, by stimulating new UK-manufactured high-value products, and societal benefits, by utilising the resulting opto-electronic fibres in potentially many areas of flexible and wearable electronics including quality of life, energy efficiency and security. The beneficiaries of the project will be the UK's national chemical, textile, healthcare, fashion, electronic and polymer industries but will extend more widely. Considering the private sector, I have already identified several companies that will benefit from this work. To ease the transition to commercialisation, the proposal has strong alignment with industry needs and engages players as project collaborators: SmartLife, HeathCoat, Novalia.
More broadly, the functional fibre processing will lead to technological advances ranging from wearable body sensors (blood pressure, motion, glucose) and fibre-based healthcare devices (wearable skin-treatment and rehabilitation devices, smart patches) to wearable displays, and could impact products in multiple industries, from mobile communications, electronics and photonics, to healthcare, lighting and fashion. Engagement with industrial UK and global players in these sectors is thus crucial to maximise the impact. Policy-makers will also benefit from SWIFT, new policies will facilitate new commercial products with attraction of further R&D investments in UK. The introduction of fibre-based opto-electronic products will contribute to address national societal challenges such as accessible healthcare treatment for resource-poor areas, sustainable economic development and growth: offering cost-effective, low-power, safe and bio-compatible products for treatment and rehabilitation that will facilitate democratisation of healthcare treatments.
SWIFT will inspire also academic research environments, contribute to fresh ideas and new research opportunities in electronics, materials science and textiles. The novel fibre-based material will stimulate the investigation and modelling of the fibre's mechanical properties (such as elongation, compression, torsion, elastic modulus and fracture strength) as well as impact the research on continuous fibres manufacturing with desired properties.
Moreover, the results of this project will give immediate return to the local academic players such as the University of Cambridge, the Nanoscience Centre, the GCG, Graphene CDT and CIMLAE by engagement with various research groups (Profs. Kim and Sirringhaus) and other relevant research projects in the field (EU-project 1D-NEON).

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/P02534X/1 01/07/2017 31/03/2019 £101,140
EP/P02534X/2 Transfer EP/P02534X/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2019 £18,057
 
Title A textile-based display 
Description In collaboration with partners at the Royal College of Arts, London and the University of Jiangnan, China we created a textile-based display demonstrator based on a design architecture developed within WEAVeING. The display layout takes the advantage of the textile form factor and novel materials, such as graphene and thermocromic dyes. The new design rules developed by WEAVeING together with the novel functional fibres and textiles developed by SWIFT provide a unique mix of methods, novel materials and models for an all-textile generation of wearable electronic devices. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact This demonstrator will benefit industry sectors in the areas of wearble devices for healthcare, sportswear and commodities, demonstrating an industrially viable and scalable route to develop reproducible all-textile electronic devices based on figures of merit and design rules. 
URL https://pubs.rsc.org/ko/content/articlehtml/2020/tc/d0tc03144e
 
Title Textile batteries for wearable devices 
Description Our group used graphite exfoliated in solution and created what we call an ink or a dispersion of graphene in liquid, in this case a low-boiling ethanol or water, and we used this electrostatic, ionic interaction to ensure graphene sticks well to the fabric and withstands washing. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact We are working with a UK design studio to develop a new "natural lamp" concept using our textile batteries to power the LEDs of the lamp. 
URL https://www.iom3.org/materials-world-magazine/news/2019/jul/01/textile-batteries-wearable-devices
 
Title Textile smart writs band 
Description The tight interaction with Novalia and SmartLife (both industrial partners in SWIFT) has generated a set of proof of principle demonstrators showcasing the capability of SWIFT's smart textiles technology. The first demonstrator is a wearable motion sensor based on graphene-cotton textile. The team has integrated the graphene-cotton conducting fabric into a chest band and a wrist elastic band developed by SmartLife. The fully-textile smart wrist-band enabled the detection of the wrist motion, while the chest band enabled Electrocardiograph monitoring. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact These demonstrators show the powerful advantage of the textile-based devices and represent a new creative product which has been designed and created together with industrial partners. The demonstrators have been presented at the InnoLAE conference 2018 and at the public outreach events at the University of Cambridge to widely disseminate these results. The textile motion sensor could be used to enable distributed sensors on clothes or ECG electrodes for smart healthcare patches. The same technology could also deliver heat and IR radiation to specific part of the body where heat treatment is required. 
URL http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/environmentally-friendly-graphene-textiles-could-enable-wearable-...
 
Title Wearable interactive T-shirt 
Description The collaboration with Novalia resulted in a second demonstrator: A wearable interactive t-shirt. The cotton fibres of a t-shirt are coated selectively with alternate layers of conductive graphene and insulating boron-nitride (h-BN) inks via a high resolution inkjet printer. The multilayer stacks operate as touch and pressure sensors and can be easily distributed onto the t-shirt, enabling interactive functions to the t-shirt such as sounds activation, volume regulation and text typing when arranged in a keyboard layout. This demonstrator will be presented at the World Mobile Congress 2018 in Barcelona. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The bio-compatibility of the natural conducting cotton fibres enables skin-compatible electrodes, which can be worn for a long time while withstanding washing and stretching. This enabled smart clothes for garments which 
 
Description SWIFT has developed inks of nanomaterials and two-dimensional materials (such as graphene and carbon nanotubes) in hybrid combination with organic polymers and natural fibres (cotton, cellulose). The viscosity range of the inks allows the production of conducting fibres by extrusion, wet spinning and fibre coating. This was the first of the main objectives and it has been achieved in perfect alignment with the proposed project plan.
Wet spinning has revealed the most suitable way to produce conductive and flexible functional fibres achieving line resistance of 300 O cm-1 @ 10 µm diameter. These highly conducting fibres withstand 20 washing cycles with a sensitivity of <10% and uniaxial stain of more than 4%. Thanks to the optimisation of the process in collaboration with our partner Bandera, these specifications are superior to those predicted and expected for conductive fibre interconnects in the original proposal.
The team has already implemented the production process flow of functional fibres suitable for uniform and controllable extrusion in collaboration with Bandera. The team has successfully wet-spun core-shell fibre creating fibre-based light emitting components. This multi-layer fibre uses the conducting fibre interconnects as core and a semiconducting shell as light emitting element (such as MoS2, organic light emitting polymers and PbS and CdS quantum dots). This development is in progress and it is in line with the proposed work-plan. Especially, this was enabled by a breakthrough in the synthesis of semiconducting 2D materials developed within the team which allowed high quality, robust and reproducible core-shell fibres.
The conducting graphene/polymer inks have also been tested as conductive coatings onto cotton and polyester fabrics, demonstrating washable and environmentally friendly strain sensors and electrodes, suitable to be in contact with the skin without causing irritation. This results in a suitable application for strain or ECG sensors.
More recently the team has developed a less viscous version of the graphene and h-BN inks, suitable for inkjet printing. The inks can be printed in a multi-layer junction, creating novel electronic devices onto fabrics. The team has demonstrated flexible and washable Thin Film Transistors (TFTs) and photodetectors on polyester fabric. This work has been successfully extended to demonstrate fully-printed integrated circuits on textiles, where reprogrammable memories, logic gates, signal amplifiers and inverters are composed of multiple all inkjet-printed TFTs on polyester fabric.
The development of semiconducting light emitting fibres will be optimised targeting emission in the visible wavelength range. Moreover, the integration of the electronic fibres with rigid driver and control electronics is being investigated through developed new interconnection methods and compatible techniques for power supply and signal detection.
A start-up named Textile Two-dimensional Ltd has already been created with the support of Cambridge Enterprise and the Royal Academy of Engineering to take the finding and the technology developed by SWIFT forward into industrially relevant fibre-based components and textiles, enabling an easy validation into healthcare, well-being and Internet of Things applications.

Fully fibre-based optoelectronic components have been created. These encompass a highly conducting cotton fibres based on a graphene/Polytiophene blend with cotton fibrils designed for wet spinning. This composite allows to achieve ~ 70 O cm-1 @ 40 µm diameter. The conducting fibres have then been implemented as the conducting electrodes in fibre-based photodetectors and thin-film transistors with a photoresponsivity of 0.2mA/W and a mobility of 14 cm2 V-1 s-1, respectively. The electronic and optoelectornic fibres are washable and biocompativle as veryfied by toxicology and physiological measurements. Nine journal articles have been published on peer-reviewed high impact factor journals based on the finding of this project.

The fibre-based technology developed here is beeing brought forward and enhanced by WEAVeING project, where integration techniques and manufacturing tools are being created to design and reproducibly scale-up textile devices. In particular, an example of this effective fibre-based device integration and new textile design resulted in the demonstration of a textile display combining the electronic fibres developed by SWIFT and the integration strategies being developed by WEAVeING.
Exploitation Route - The commercialisation and scale up will be take forward through the spin out "Textile two-dimensional" with the support of Cambridge Enterprise.
- Metier Ltd is currently discussing with Cambridge Enterprise about possible licensing of this technology for specific application in sportswear and thermal manegement clothes.
- Within the framework of EPSRC IAA funding, Klopman SpA and Metier Ltd are developing together with Dr Torrisi's group novel thermal management fabrics using SWIFT's technology for industry workwear. This is an excellent example of SWIFT's technology being taken forward and translated into innovative solutions for industry.
- The EPSRC-funded adventurous manufacturing project WEAVeING is highly benefitting from the outputs of SWIFT, as it can rely on a new platform of all-fibre-based devices which are key to the development of design rules and manufacturing figures of merit for all-textile devices.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/fully-integrated-circuits-printed-directly-onto-fabric
 
Description Economic impact: SWIFT's natural fibre-based technology is being disseminated to the UK industrial sector through direct interaction with relevant actors in key industrial fields: extrusion (Bandera), electronic textiles and wearable electronics (SmartLife, HeatCoat), printed electronics (Novalia). The collaboration with Bandera has succeeded in tailoring the extrusion of the graphene conducting fibres, which offer a large scale and high throughput manufacturing process of the conducting natural fibres. The collaboration with SmartLife and Heatcoat is targeting the smart fibre integration with general wear and the stability tests under standard washing cycles. Weaving of the graphene conducting fibres has recently been achieved into sportswear and a first demonstration of washable motion sensors and ECG detectors have been achieved. SmartLife is planning to optimise this process to an entire graphene-enabled section of their products. Moreover, Bandera has already made clear that they would aspire to industrialize the graphene fibres extrusion production. The engagement with other EPSRC/EU consortia investigating textile electronic integration platforms (such as H2020-NMP 1D-NEON or EPSRC EP/M015149/1) has offred contact with several industrial actors in the area of wearable electronics and smart textiles, with an opportunity to showcase SWIFT's technology (InnoLAE, IDTechEx tradeshow, the Wearable Technology Show, 1D-NEON project meetings), explore possible common scopes and set-up trial test to benchmark the impact of the fibre-based technology against the companies' business-as-usual or commercial wearable products. The team wascontacted by the national USA Cotton Association (Cotton USA) to prepare a demonstrator for Premier Vision 2020, the most highly regarded exhibition of future textiles and clothes products. The exhibition was cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the demonstrator was still developed in collaboration with Metier Ltd and then lauched as a novel product line on the Metier website. Moreover the team has already submitted a joint invention disclosure with the Clinical Engineering Group at NHS Addenbrooke's hospital to Cambridge Enterprise covering the invention of a wearable graphene textile smart patch for ECG monitoring based on SWIFT's technology. Societal impact: Dr Torrisi participated in several initiatives to promote public understanding of science in UK and abroad. SWIFT's results have achieved a huge highlight in the technical and general press, from blogs, to newspapers, TV and radio (including BBC, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Rai TV, La Repubblica, The Wall Street Journal, Vice.com). Dr Torrisi is regularly invited to deliver lectures and seminars at the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University of Wurzburg, University of Pisa, University of Catania to promote social awareness on Engineering and Physical Sciences. Moreover, several outreach events (such as the Cambridge Science Festival and the Cambridge Science Centre Outreach day) have seen the active participation of members of the team to raise awareness of the science and technology behind SWIFT and disseminate the project's work and achievements.Dr Torrisi and Mr Carey authored numerous technology reviews in highly relevant scientific and general audience journals and magazines (e.g. Digital Textile, Nano Today, MRS Bulletin) this has showcased SWIFT's research to a large audience of textile experts and facilitate cross-collaboration with textile research and industry e.g. fashion and design such as the Royal College of Arts, the University of Art and University of Creative Arts in London, and the Manchester School of Art as well as CuteCircuit ltd and Google's Jacquard Team. Impact on the public and professional development: SWIFT has already resulted in a strong interaction with industrial partners "in the lab" to develop industrially relevant fibre production weaving and integration processes to facilitate the transferring of the know-how, production, prototyping of the opto-electronic fibres for upscaling the smart textiles technology. Dr Torrisi is also the module leader of an engineering teaching module in "Flexible and Wearable Electronics". This year he has introduced in the module three lectures about "electronic textiles" and SWIFT knowledge-base as a training for the future generation of electronic engineers. SWIFT has also strongly contributed to the professional development of staff working on the emerging field of fibre-based electronics. The interactive and coss-disciplinary work of SWIFT geenrated several new knowledge and manufacturing skills that forged staff working on the projec. As an example, HL hired by SWIFT developed tranferable skills in the area of functional fibre design, manufacturing, testing and integration which became fundamental when interacting with the industrial partners in order to achieve fibre integration and textile products. This new skills resulted in new processed being incorporated by Metier and Klopman in their production line. This cross-collaboration contributed to transfer these skills to industry and develop industrial collaborators professionally. Finally, the talks at conference and the workshop on e-textiles organised at InnoLAE 2019 as a part of SWIFT dissemination strategy, contributed to inform the general public and showcase the project results.
Sector Chemicals,Education,Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Invited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology for strategic workshop on the future of wearable electronics
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Invitation by the Institute of Engineering and Technology to disseminate SWIFT's results and propose novel innovation strategies in the area of fashion technology and wearable electronics for sportsware and fitire fashion trends. The talk has influenced and inspired several researched and managers in thte broad area of smart textiles.
 
Description Memership of the steering committee of EPSRC E-Textile Network
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The policy increased the awareness and impact of electronic waste and raised the support and need fo a future move towards sustainable electronics. This falls within the remit of SWIFT which develops sustainable electronic textiles based on natural fibres. This has resulted in consultation and national calls for sustainable smart textiles.
 
Description Training for postgraduate students- Centre for Doctoral Training in Graphene Technology
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Over the last six months, Dr Torrisi has supervised two MRes students working towards their short projects on Smart Wearable Textiles with as part of the engagement with the EPSRC CDT in Graphene Technology and the Cambridge Graphene Centre. The student have been exposed to the research within SWIFT and have actively contributed to the development of flexible and conducting fibres.
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account imperial
Amount £42,527 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R511547/1 
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 01/2021
 
Description EPSRC doctoral training partnership
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description Industrial funding
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Organisation SSM Technology Ltd 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 04/2023
 
Description Newton Trust Early Career Lecturer Grant
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Isaac Newton Trust
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Printed graphene-based gas sensors on textile
Amount £36,100 (GBP)
Organisation Infineon Technologies 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship - Mr Tian Carey
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 02/2019
 
Description Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) Visiting Researcher Scheme Fellowship (to develop the semiconducting 2D materials and polymer composites for the light emitting fibres).
Amount £86,000 (GBP)
Organisation Sungkyunkwan University 
Sector Academic/University
Country Korea, Republic of
Start 07/2017 
End 06/2018
 
Description WEAVeING
Amount £223,438 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/T005106/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2019 
End 06/2021
 
Title Charge modification of textiles 
Description The team has developed new techniques to embed nanomaterials into cotton fibres. This technique relies on the chemical dissolution of cotton in appropriate solvents followed by the modification of the surface of the cotton molecules by charged functional groups. The charge modification allows improving the adhesion of surface charged nanomaterials such as negatively modified graphene or other carbon based materials, which impart electrical conductivity to the fibre. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This fundamental step allows binding the functional nanomaterials to the cotton molecules, providing functional electrical and/or optical properties to the cotton molecules. This process enables to formulate environmentally friendly, breathable and washable conductive fibres, which preserve the mechanical properties of cotton and can be woven into a cotton fabric. 
URL https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01210-2
 
Title Development of core-shell fibre spinning for fibre-based optoelectronic compoments 
Description Development of a core-shell simultaneous spinning setup to draw fibre-based electronic and optoelectronic devices such as Thin Film Transistors and Photodetectors. This allows a quick manufacturing process for future fibre-based electronic devices that can be woven or integrated in fabric weave introducing unparalleled electrical and optical functionalities. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This new fibre processing method enables spinning of electronic and optoelectronic fibre comoponents in large quantities and in a reproducible way. This good output and the controllable morphology and electro-optical properties of the fibre have the potential to enable future electronic textiles which can be effectively woven using functional fibres. Industrially relevant textile prototype photodetector and heating devices of the size of 4" x 4" are currently being developed with Smartlife Ltd and Heatcoat Ltd, respectively. 
 
Title Develped new and upscaled synthesis technique for 2D materials 
Description The group has developed a new process to synthesise large quantities of expremely pure graphene and 2D materials in solution. Based on a radical technology shift from the old-fashioned ultrasonication exfoliation, the new process is based on electrochemical exfoliation which results in a more efficient, upscalable and sutainable synthesis technique. The process is also very versatile, allowing a large range of dispersions of 2D materials to be manufactured. These in turn enabled novel e-fibres based functionalised with 2D materials exploting the semiconducting electronic nature of some 2D materials, resulting in unrivalled fibre-based photovoltaic devices. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The impact is in the everging field of smart textiles and textile energy materials for the generation and storage of energy from body motion and heat. 
 
Title Layered materials and methods for their processing 
Description The development of fibre-based electronic devices required an "ad hoc" method for producing nanoplates derived from a layered material, which could be incorporated with the textiles and fibres. In a joint effort SWIFT and WEVeING developed a patented method for the synthesis of nanoplatelets of layered materials optimised for the incorporation on fibres and textiles. Such a method is based on a solution based approach producing inks and dyes suitable for textile coating. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This method will benefit textile manufacturers and industries operating in the wearable electronics sector (healthcare, sportswear and commodities) by providing a new method for the production of functional inks and coatings for advanced textiles. The inks have electrical and themal conductivity and are sensitive to visible light offering a platform of properties to enhance the functionality of textiles. The biocompatibility of the inks and their environmental stability combined with the sustainability of the process enable a robust life-cycle design of the electronic textiles. 
URL https://patents.google.com/patent/US10906814B2/en
 
Title Spinning of conducting environmentally-friendly natural fibres 
Description The team has demonstrated wet spinning of functionalised dissolved cotton molecules into fibres, which achieve electrical conductivities of up to 50 S/m. The spun fibres have been improved by improved via chemical functionalisation of the edge of the embedded graphene flakes. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The newly developed conductive cotton fibres will impact the field of weavable conducting fibres, which are currently based on conducting metals. The natural cotton conductinv fibres can be used as core electrodes in core/shell, conducting (core)/semiconducting (shell) cotton fibres. This is the first step towards active fibre-based devices. The team is now investigating various coating techniques, which could maximise the adhesion of the functional coating shell. 
 
Title Large scale manufacturing of fibre-based electornic devices based on 2D materials 
Description We have developed a new process for quick and non-disruptive analysis of a large range of 2D materials in solution. The model is based on correlation of various spectroscopic and scattering techniques and allows litres of graphene and 2D material inks to be characterised in minutes. This alows quick process monitoring and feedback. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Enable reproducible and robust large scale manufacturing of composites devices with inks of graphene and 2D materials. Fibres based devices have a very large aspect ratio and this requiresed a large quantity of functional inks to be coated layer-by-layer on the fibre. With our techniques long wet-spun fibres can be continuously manufactured in a reproducible way, with a high yield. 
 
Title Process and materials fatabase for core/shell functional electronic natural fibres 
Description The team has developed a unique and novel technique to manufacture core/shell fibres for active fibre-based device manufacturing. Preliminary graphene/MoS2 fibres have been produced by wet spinning of the conducting graphene coating and dip-coating of the semiconducting MoS2 shell around the core. Further core/shell fibres are being developed with graphene/PbS quantum dots layers. The new quasi one-dimensional form of the fibre-based devices requires novel electrical and optical characterisation approaches, different from those developed for traditional flat planar electronics. The team has developed a new process to deposit conformable electrodes around the fibre-based devices. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This novel process enables to electrically bias the active layers of the fibre and enable the characterisation of their electrical conductivity and optical response, for the first time. 
 
Title graphene and two-dimensional material inks and composites 
Description SWIFT has generated a new portfolio of inks and polymer composites with chemically modified two-dimensional materials (graphene, MoS2, WS2), nanoparticles (CdSe and PbS quantum dots). Thanks to the chemical functionalisation the inks show improved electrical, optical properties (such as electron mobility of more than 150 cm2 V-1 s-1 and on/off current modulation ratio of more than 104) and enhanced adhesion to cotton fibres and fabrics compared to commercial electronic inks. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact MoS2, WS2 inks and CdSe and PbS quantum dot inks show typical semiconducting properties with a bandgap between 1.2 and 1.9 eV. These are ideal inks for light emitting and detecting fibres. Graphene and conducting polymer inks (such as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate, PDOT:PSS) are highly conducting inks which achieve conductivities of 10^5 S/m. Thanks to the database and the portfolio of materials and processes created by SWIFT this will now be used to manufacture electronic natural fibres.The team has employed these inks to manufacture a set of new cotton-graphene conducting fibres which possess the same mechanical properties of cotton combined with the graphene's and PDOT:PSS's electrical conductivity. The fibres are conductive and stretchable and their conductivity and the mechanical response can be modulated with the graphene/polymer's concentration. 
 
Description Collaboration with University of Southampton 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department School of Electronics and Computer Science Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The development of smart conducting fibres within SWIFT has resulted in a solid ongoing collaboration with the group of Prof. Steve Beeby at the University of Southampton. This has already resulted in a presentation by Dr Torrisi during one of the E-textiles workshop organised at Southampton.
Collaborator Contribution The group of Prof Beeby at Southampton University is leading the research on textile-based energy storage and generation devices. The collaboration with this group has enabled testing and validation of the smart conducting fibre electrodes and as integrated all-textile energy storage elements. Hybrid integration of e-textiles with other rigid and flexible electronic components is indeed a key element in the development of smart fabrics. This collaboration is helping us to investigate such integration aspect and benchmark our technology with state-of-the-art alternatives.
Impact The outputs have succesfully resulted on the integration of conducting fibres and textiles developend within SWIFT (by graphene or other 2D material-based functionalisation of natural fibres) as a textile leyer component in energy storage devices such as electrochemical double layer supercapacitors or batteries. This resulted in an improvement of the energy storage capacity by more than one order of magnitude with respect to carbon-impregnated textile capacitors. More recently, the collaboration is developing integrated systems of textile supercapacitors (developed by SWIFT), novel advanced fibre integration strategies for textile electrothermochromic displays (being developed by WEAVeING) and triboelectric energy generators developed by the Southampton group. This has resulted already in several publications of integrated e-textile manufacturing strategies delivering textile-based circuits [Nature Commun. 8:1202], supercapacitors [Nanoscale 11:9912] for energy storage elements and textile-based displays [J. Mater. Chem. C 8:15788]. In co-creation with academics, industrial and manufacturing stakeholders we are preparing a new proposal for large a sustainable and large-scale manufacturing of functional e-textiles.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with University of Swansea 
Organisation Swansea University
Department College of Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The recent publication by T. Carey et al. ACS applied materials & interfaces 10 (23), 19948-19956 (2018) has been the positive outcome of a multi-lateral partnership directly linked to the award. The work involved the group of Dr Torrisi at the University of Cambridge and the group of Dr Deganello at the University of Swansea. The colleboration allowe to tackle some key issuer regarding figures of merit of conducting graphene inks for electronic textiles, enabling the printing of highly conducting fabrics.
Collaborator Contribution The University fo Swansea offered access to while light interferometry equipmenr and expertises decveloped within the group of Dr Deganello to precisely measurem the thickness of printed graphene films and determine the figure of merit of sheet resistance for the printed thin films in this project.
Impact T. Carey et al. ACS applied materials & interfaces 10 (23), 19948-19956 (2018)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Participation to EPSRC-funded FAST Healthcare Technologies Network Plus 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The team is delivering SWIFT's wearable fibre-based technology to the network as a innovative technology to enable wearable healthcare electronic devices. The team has joined a consortium involving Plymouth, Leeds and Bath Universities aiming to deliver bio-0sensoprs on textiles for the early detection Alzhaimer.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Torrisi has been invited to join the EPSRC-funded FAST Healthcare Technologies Network Plus which looks at the FAST Assessment and Treatment in Healthcare and aims to promote joined-up treatment in public health by taking a holistic view of clinical assessment and treatment pathways and developing solutions that deliver real impact on clinical treatment processes and patient outcomes. Through the FAST Healthcare Technologies Network Plus Dr Torrisi has been invited to join a consortium of UK researchers for EPSRC Standard application Titled "Graphene based immunosensors for early detection of Alzheimer's Disorder Blood Biomarkers".
Impact The team has joined a consortium involving Plymouth, Leeds and Bath Universities aiming to deliver bio-0sensoprs on textiles for the early detection Alzhaimer.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Politecnico di MIlano and Jiangnan University 
Organisation Jiangnan University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The recent publication by T. Carey et al. Nature Commun., 8 1202, 2017 on electronic textiles has been the positive outcome of a multi-lateral partnership directly linked to the award. The work involved my group at the University of Cambridge on one side and the Politecnico di Milano, Italy and the Key State Lab of Textiles at the University of Jiangnan, China on the other side. This collaboration has seen a synergic collaborative work towards the demonstration of integrated electronic components on textiles and fibres.
Collaborator Contribution Poilitecnico di Milano, Italy
Impact Publication: T. Carey et al. Nature Commun., 8 1202, 2017, Conference Presentation T. Carey et al Graphene week September 2017
Start Year 2017
 
Description Politecnico di MIlano and Jiangnan University 
Organisation Polytechnic University of Milan
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The recent publication by T. Carey et al. Nature Commun., 8 1202, 2017 on electronic textiles has been the positive outcome of a multi-lateral partnership directly linked to the award. The work involved my group at the University of Cambridge on one side and the Politecnico di Milano, Italy and the Key State Lab of Textiles at the University of Jiangnan, China on the other side. This collaboration has seen a synergic collaborative work towards the demonstration of integrated electronic components on textiles and fibres.
Collaborator Contribution Poilitecnico di Milano, Italy
Impact Publication: T. Carey et al. Nature Commun., 8 1202, 2017, Conference Presentation T. Carey et al Graphene week September 2017
Start Year 2017
 
Title Layered materials and methods for their processing 
Description Advanced exfoliation of layered materials for electronic textiles and fibres. We have developed a new process for quick and non-disruptive analysis of a large range of 2D materials in solution. The model is based on correlation of various spectroscopic and scattering techniques and allows litres of graphene and 2D material inks to be characterised in minutes. This allows quick process monitoring and feedback. 
IP Reference WO2017060497A1 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2020
Licensed No
Impact Enables reproducible and robust large scale manufacturing of composites devices with inks of graphene and 2D materials. Fibres based devices have a very large aspect ratio and this requires a large quantity of functional inks to be coated layer-by-layer on the fibre. With our techniques long wet-spun fibres can be continuously manufactured in a reproducible way, with a high yield.
 
Title Conductive and semiconducting inks and coatings for textiles 
Description The group of Dr Torrisi, in collaboration with Textile two-dimensional Ltd, the spin-off company creted within SWIFT in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise fellowship, syntesized a special set of conducting and semiconducting inks base on graphene and other two-dimensional materials and polymer composites have been developed specifically to introduce electrical and thermal conductivity to the fabric as well as light sensing. 
Type Of Technology New Material/Compound 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This has show to enable the demonstration of conducting fabrics for management of body heat enabling constant temperature regulation between 30 - 40 C. The same inks have succesfully been implemented in a multi-layer structure of conducting and semiconducting inks enabling light sensing fibres and fabrics with photoresponsivity of up to 0.1mA/W. The same multi-layer fibre structrure is currently being explored in conjunction with perovskite layers as future fibre-based photovoltaic elements. These inks are commercially available through Cambridge Enterprise and Textile two-dimensional. 
URL http://www.textile2dimensional.com
 
Title Conductive washable fibres 
Description - A cotton-graphene/PDOT:PSS conductive and flexible fibre sensors, which withstands washing and air permeation. 
Type Of Technology New Material/Compound 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The fibre is currently being used by SmartLife as a motion and pressure sensing component in their smart T-shirt products. The fibre is also suitable as ECG senson in smart healthcare patches. 
 
Company Name Textile Two-dimensional 
Description A start-up has already been created with the support of Cambridge Enterprise and the Royal Academy of Engineering to take the finding and the technology developed by SWIFT forward into industrially relevant fibre-based components and textiles, enabling an easy validation into healthcare, well-being and Internet of Things applications. 
Year Established 2018 
Impact This company aims to translate the technological discoperies and experimental results on electronic textiles and wearable and washable natural fibres generated by SWIFT into real products int he Healthcare, wellbeing and Internet of Things sector sectors.
Website https://www.businessweekly.co.uk/news/hi-tech/graphene-wizards-commercialising-new-wearable-technolo...
 
Description E-textile 2020 webinar on "Sustainable fibres" - EPSRC E-Textiles Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This webinar was organised in collaboration with the EPSRC E-textiles Network as a replacement of a workshop and networking event planned to disseminate the results of SWIFT and WEAVeING projects. The webinar was hosted by the E-textiles netwoks and was adversited to the whole network community as well as to all the interested industrial and academic stake holders. A new manufacturing project proposal is being put together with relevant academic and industrial partners as a result of this webinar.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://e-textiles-network.com/e-textiles-network-webinar-fibre-based-electronics-for-sustainable-e-...
 
Description Interview for international online news - Motherboard/Vice.com 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The highly regarded international online magazine Vice.com requested an interview with Dr Torrisi to go in the technology section "Motherboard". Dr Torrisi was given the "Human of the Year" award by Vice.com
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8x5wqg/felice-torrisi-human-of-the-year-graphene-clothes
 
Description Interview for national broadcaster - TalkRADIO 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview at TalkRADIO about SWIFT's technology and how this could influence the future of electronic textiles and wearable electronic devices.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for the Daily Mail 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview with the Daily Mail about SWIFT's technology and theimpact it can generate in healthcare, wellbeing and fashion technology. Reached more that 500 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Masterclass and tutorial on "Wearable electronics and e-textiles" at IEEE-FLEPS 2020 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This activity was intended to provide industry and relevant businesses with the fundamentals and updates on the rapidly emerging field of wearable electronics, with a particular focus on e-textiles. The one-hour masterclass covered first the basics of wearable electronics and e-textiles showing the advantages and open questions for this technology. Secondly, a more tecnical part introduced the state-of-the art of materials and processes to manufacture e-textiles and the range of applications. The activity also hosted a range of demonstrators showcasing applications in the Healthcare, welbeing and sensing sectors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://2020.ieee-fleps.org/general/tutorials
 
Description Masterclass on Electronic Textiles at IDTEchEx2018 in Berlin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Torrisi was invited to deliver a Masterclass on Electronic Texitles at the IDTechEX2018 Event in Berlin. This is the largest Tradeshow on Printed and Flexible electronics, ivolving new technologies for energy, wearables and sensing applications. The workshop was a perfect opportunity to deliver SWIFT results to one of the larges international audience of industrial and academic players as well as rechout media and policymakers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.idtechex.com/europe2018/show/en/masterclasses
 
Description News article by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining on Textile batteries for wearable devices 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Intitute of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining selecter our research work on Textile Wearable Batteries for a news article. This news article in well known to have a very broad audience and has resulted in an extraordinary vehicle for the dissemination of SWIFTS results. The article sparked interest in several industrial and academic sectors resulting in various initiatives involving my groups. For example I was invited to seat on the steering committee of the EPSRC E-Textile network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.iom3.org/materials-world-magazine/news/2019/jul/01/textile-batteries-wearable-devices
 
Description Outreach activity at Cambridge Science Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dr Torrisi and Mr Tian Carey (supervised by Dr Torrisi) have been invited to join the Cambridge Science Centre in an outreach event which had the purpose to disseminate knowledge and science of nanotechnology and future electronics to school pupils and families. This gave the team the opportunity to engage with joung students and families and present the work done within SWFT and explain the benefist and the expectations of this technology. We presented the demonstrators of conducting fibres and smart touch and motion sentor fabric, which grasped the attention of the pupils and their families.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org/graphene
 
Description Satellite Workshop on Science, Technology and Commercialisation of Electronic Textiles at the EPSRC-funded InnoLAE 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In line with the Pathways to Impact of the EPSRC-funded SWIFT project. A workshop on Electronic Textiles and Fibre-based Electronics was organised as a satellite event of the InnoLAE 2019 conference at the Genome Campus in Cambridge. The workshop was structured in a way to involve both academic and industrial player with invited talks from both sides of industry and academia. Round-table activities were also proposed to capture the industrial needs and the direction of the technology pull compared to the state-of-the-art, as well as identify the evolution and the status of the academic research in fibre-based electronics and electronic textile integration.
We had between 50 and 100 attendees during the invited presentations while around 50 attendees joined the round-table activity. The workshop was concluded with a panel discussion from the invited speakers where the feedback collected from the round-table acitivy where discussed and a direction for technology development in electronic textiles was unanimously shared. This was a succefsult workshop joining materials and fibres components synthesis with electronic textile integration and device demonstrators which for the first time sets out a clear way forward for this technology to emerge and become strongly industrially relevant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www-large-area-electronics.eng.cam.ac.uk/workshop-on-the-science-technology-and-commercialisa...
 
Description Symposium and Masterclass at IDTechEx USA 2019 Santa Clara, CA on Electronic Textiles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I gave a masterclass of 60 min about SWIFT resuslts and the potential application of the resulting technology in electronic textiles to a large audience of Business, industry and academic attendees. The audience was very engaging and interested in the work. After the presentation various industry playes approached me leading to interesting discussions and technology transfer partnerships such as the one already active with Metier Ltd and Klopman SpA.
I was also the organised of an entire symposium about Electronic Textiles at IDTechEx USA 2019. This gave the opportunity to raise awareness in this field to the audience and cross-fertilise academic and industrial environments with large intereste in translational technology projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.idtechex.com/usa2019/show/en/speakers
 
Description Talk at the High Value Manufacturing network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The High Value Manufacturing Group promotes a series of yearly meeting to discuss about the future of manufacturing with the advent of the new technologies. Dr Torrisi has been invited to present the results of SWIFT as a potential new technology for the Internet of Things and smart manufacturing at the 2017 Meeting in November.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Technology showcase at Imperial Techforesight 2020 - Session on Malleable Matter - A new era of wearables: Embedding advanced technology into our lives. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The event is a presentation of technologies developed in academia that have a high potential for industrial uptake. More than 100 industries participated to the event and this sparked questions after the presentation as well as lead to discussions afterwards. One company attending the event, is now discussing the option to engage in an industrially funded project to apply the manufacturing strategies developed by SWIFT and WEAVeING into future products in functional technical textiles for healthcare application.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://imperialtechforesight.com/tf2040/malleable-matter/