Conductive textiles prepared by spray coating of water-based graphene dispersions
Journal article, 2020
In the development of embedding devices on textiles like sensors and detectors the controlled formation of a conductive coating remains a critical point. Although there are several approaches for imparting conductivity to any textile, the challenges remain in balancing the practical aspects of the coating procedure that affect the conductivity with the associated mechanical properties of the textile along with a feasible economic viability of the process. In this research we developed an approach to deposit uniform conductive graphene surface coatings on polyester (PET) fabric using graphene oxide (GO) particles. Instead of using pre-reduced graphene oxide (rGO), an approach of coating an aqueous dispersion of hydrophilic GO particles was adopted. Stable aqueous dispersions of GO were formulated, and the dispersion properties were characterized using DLS and zeta potential before coating them onto the PET textiles. This approach not only helped in developing an aqueous coating technique but also helped in avoiding the need of any organic solvents which might have been required for coating hydrophobic rGO moieties onto the textile substrates. The uniformity of the coating was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Later, the GO coated textiles were reduced via thermal and chemical approaches and their effects on the conductive and mechanical properties of the fabric were assessed and compared. The reduction efficacy was analyzed and compared using XPS. The conductivity and water adsorption properties were correlated to the uniformity and retainment of rGO on the surface of the conductive textiles.