Scientists at École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada have developed and tested several experimental lithium ion battery fibres for wearable electronics, including some using tin wire.
The prototype fibres were made by twisting together a steel-polyester-cathode electrode with the anode fibres and a solid electrolyte. Tin wire gave the highest energy capacity of the several anodes tested, and performance was maintained after 80 discharge-charge cycles and 30,000 fibre bending cycles. The materials were designed to be solid state technologies that avoid issues with possible leakage of fluid from more conventional combinations. Although experimental these products are based on readily available commercial materials.
The integration of electronics into textiles and clothing has opened up new markets in communication, healthcare, protection and wearable technology and the ability to store charge within the fabric itself is a key enabling step.