STELEC: Sustainable Textile Electronics

STELEC: Sustainable Textile Electronics

The aim of this project is to develop circuit technologies for e-textiles that are based on materials that minimize environmental impact, are compatible with the life-cycle of “normal” textiles to facilitate easy re-use in the spirit of circular economy, and can be produced (and recycled) in an energy efficient way. 

The main breakthroughs with respect to the current state of technology will be in three areas:

  1. A combination of digital inkjet, 3D printing, and atmospheric plasma to produce sustainable textile electronics building blocks from environmentally friendly materials (e.g conducting polymers such as PEDOT:PSS and carbon based polymer nanocomposites).
  2. Going beyond embedding electronics in textile structures on substrate and layer levels as is state of the art today, and using fibrous materials (enriched with electronic properties as stipulated above) to create electronic components such as transistors, capacitors etc. and combine them into more complex circuits.
  3. Comprehensive, lifecycle-oriented model of the environmental impact of such e-textile technologies and their applications.

Overall STELEC will create the foundations for a new paradigm for e-textiles development that is not just environment friendly and sustainable but also fundamentally changes the way e-textiles and wearable systems are designed and built facilitating whole new application domains and associated markets.

Project Leader

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI)

Researchers/University employees

Research groups