1. ITV Report

Graphene: You've read the stories - now get the T-shirt

The wonder material now being used to print electronics Photo:

You've probably heard of the new wonder material Graphene - the super strong, flexible material which could be used in everything from electronics to building materials.

Well, now it's a case of read the stories get the T-shirt - quite literally.

Scientists in Cambridge - along with counterparts in Italy and China - have used Graphene to create electronic circuits which are washable, stretchable and breathable and printable onto fabric.

Researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Centre have used conventional inkjet printing techniques to do it - they say the work opens up new possibilities for smart textiles and wearable electronics.

Watch an explainer on how Graphene based ink works

"Turning textile fibres into functional electronic components can open to an entirely new set of applications from healthcare and wellbeing to the Internet of Things."

– Dr Felice Torrisi, Cambridge Graphene Centre

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, working with colleagues in Italy and China, have demonstrated how graphene – a two-dimensional form of carbon – can be directly printed onto fabric to produce integrated electronic circuits which are comfortable to wear and can survive up to 20 cycles in a typical washing machine.

The results of the project has just been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Most wearable electronic devices currently on the market rely on rigid electronic components mounted on plastic, rubber or textiles. It means they can be easily damaged and can be uncomfortable to wear.

The work opens up a number of commercial opportunities for two-dimensional material inks, ranging from personal health and well-being technology, to wearable energy harvesting and storage, military garments, wearable computing and fashion.