Fudan University (China) Fiber batteries and textile displays recognized by IUPAC

Recently, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) released the “Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry 2022”. Fiber batteries and textile displays—two areas to which Peng Huisheng, professor at Department of Macromolecular Science, and his research team made huge contributions, are on the list.

Fiber batteries — A new form of energy storage, ready for wearables

Fiber batteries provide an interesting solution in tackling the energy crisis, and at the same time open up possibilities in the world of wearable electronics. Fiber batteries exhibit an almost one-dimensional design, with intertwined wires as electrodes. The structure is protected with a polymeric coating, which also seals the electrolyte within the battery. They are flexible, robust, and safe. Moreover, woven fibers lead to battery “fabrics,” adaptable to many different shapes and applications. Studies suggest that battery fabrics are soft and breathable, thus ideal for applications in wearable electronics.

Textile displays — Fiber-based light-emitting diodes for flexible screens

Devices using this technology will transform our daily electronics, as well as how we interact with them, and catalyze the commercialization of new wearable devices and smart fabrics. Researchers directly develop fibers capable of emitting light, and then intertwine them to form flexible fabrics as displays. This strategy solves many problems: first, it increases the breathability, which traditional screens would hinder; second, it makes wearables softer, more similar to actual clothes; and third, fibers flex freely; deformations don’t affect emission as much as in thin-film screens.

Established in 1919, IUPAC is the world authority on chemical nomenclature and terminology, including the naming of new elements in the periodic table. It aims at uniting a fragmented, global chemistry community for the advancement of the chemical sciences via collaboration and the free exchange of scientific information.

In 2019, IUPAC launched the “Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry Initiative”, consolidated and recognised by experts worldwide, highlights the value of chemical sciences in the transition to a green economy and a more sustainable world, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).