"Keep snuggly warm with self-heating nanowire clothes"

"Yi Cui and his colleagues want to change the way we keep warm. The team has developed a technique for coating textiles in a network of silver nanowires by dipping cloth in nanowire "ink""

First Published By: Jacob Aron, New Scientist

"The winter months can bring eye-watering heating bills as you struggle to fight off the cold. Much of that energy is wasted warming up empty air rather than people. A new form of cloth designed to directly heat your skin could provide a solution."

"Ordinary clothes provide an insulating layer that traps heat against your skin, but the material can still lose heat to the surrounding air. The nanowire cloth acts as a reflecting surface for heat, keeping you warm, but is porous enough to let water through so you don't feel sweaty."

"What's more, because the nanowire cloth conducts electricity, running a voltage through it heats it up to provide extra warmth. "Just 1 volt can heat up the nanowire cloth to 40 °C," says Cui. Keeping the current low means there is no danger of burning your skin. "It is just like holding a AAA battery.""