Researchers have successfully incorporated washable, stretchable and breathable electronic circuits into fabric, opening up new possibilities for smart textiles and wearable electronics.

The circuits were made with cheap, safe and environmentally friendly inks, and printed using conventional inkjet printing techniques.

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, working with colleagues in Italy and China, have demonstrated how graphene - a two-dimensional form of carbon - can be directly printed onto fabric to produce integrated electronic circuits which are comfortable to wear and can survive up to 20 cycles in a typical washing machine.

The new textile electronic devices are based on low-cost, sustainable and scalable inkjet printing of inks based on graphene and other two-dimensional materials, and are produced by standard processing techniques.

The results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Based on earlier work on the formulation of graphene inks for printed electronics, the team designed low-boiling point inks, which were directly printed onto polyester fabric.

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