A new technique transforms existing cloth items or textiles into self-powered e-textiles containing sensors, music players, or illumination displays using simple embroidery without the need for expensive fabrication processes requiring complex steps or expensive equipment. The fabric also keeps the wearer safe from viruses and bacteria.

The textiles protect wearers from rain, stains, and bacteria while harvesting the energy of the wearer to power textile-based electronics. The self-powered e-textiles also constitute an advancement in the development of wearable machine-human interfaces that can be washed many times in a conventional washing machine without apparent degradation.

Waterproof, breathable, and antibacterial self-powered clothing is based on omniphobic triboelectric nanogenerators (RF-TENGs) that use simple embroidery and fluorinated molecules to embed small electronic components and turn a piece of clothing into a mechanism for powering devices. The RF-TENG technology is like having a wearable remote control that also keeps odors, rain, stains, and bacteria away from the user.

The fabric provides a seamless communication with machines and the Internet of Things.

For more information, contact Chris Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 765-588-3341.


Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2020 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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