India has taken a step ahead in the field of smart textiles. The team of scientists from IIT Kharagpur developed a fabric that can sense what’s going around. No, it’s not a hoax. Not only this, the textile can store data and communicate for the necessary action as well! The Indian brains have inched closer to indigenously built wearable electronic device, thanks to the exclusive properties of silk. The experts at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur has devised a hybrid material out of silk protein ‘Fibroin’.
This newly-invented scientific marvel has the abilities to generate prototype textile-based smart electronic devices for soldiers and combat personnel. It can also be deployed for biomedical purposes as well.
"We have designed a hybrid photodetector using zinc oxide nanostructures on gold-nanoparticle-embedded silk protein for applications that combine electronics and light," Samit K. Ray, currently officiating as the Director of S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata (on lien), told IANS.
There is a photodetector in the fabric which works by converting the light signals into electrical energy, like voltage or current. When the light falls on the fabric, the photodetectors in it are activated to generate electrical signals. The fabric, despite being so functional, is light in weight, flexible, stretchable, biocompatible and biodegradable, just as you want it to be!
"The hybrid material can store data and can detect light, both in the ultraviolet and visible wavelength range, thereby offering greater sensitivity and scope of detection," Ray said.
These kind of breakthroughs in the field of science can open new avenues towards development. Not only for defence, if the fabric is made readily available, it can be used to enhance security for women as well.