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The Air Force Research Laboratory is working with engineers at the University of Cincinnati to develop radical new clothing that can charge your cell phone.
Researchers are developing a plethora of carbon technology, including 'Iron Man' suits that can store power in carbon nanotubes.
Technology - Everything - Warplanes
They say the technology could revolutionise everything from clothing to warplanes.
Researchers 'grow' nanotubes on quarter-sized silicon wafers under heat in a vacuum chamber through a process called chemical vapor deposition.
Square - Spool - Lab - Sheet - Carbon
They then stretch the little fibrous square over an industrial spool in the lab, turning the tiny sheet of carbon becomes a spun thread that resembles spider's silk that can be woven into textiles.
'It's exactly like a textile,' UC professor Vesselin Shanov, who co-directs UC's Nanoworld Laboratories, said.
'We - Machine - Thread - Applications - Sensors
'We can assemble them like a machine thread and use them in applications ranging from sensors to track heavy metals in water or energy storage devices, including super capacitors and batteries.'
For the military, this could mean replacing heavy batteries that charge the growing number of electronics that make up a soldier's loadout: lights, night-vision and communications gear.
One-third - Weight - Batteries - Power - Equipment
'As much as one-third of the weight they carry is just batteries to power all of their equipment,' Graduate student Mark Haase, who has spent the past year exploring applications for carbon nanotubes at the Air Force Research Lab of Wright-Patterson, said.
'So even if we can shave a little off that, it's a big advantage for them in the field.'
However, the technology is still...
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