Silkworms as a factory of functional wearable energy storage fabrics

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Physics Department

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Physics Department

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Basant A. Ali; Nageh K. Allam

Document Type

Research Article

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Scientific reports

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Feeding Bombyx mori larvae with chemically-modified diets affects the structure and properties of the resulted silk. Herein, we provide a road map for the use of silkworms as a factory to produce semiconducting/metallic natural silk that can be used in many technological applications such as supercapacitor electrodes. The silkworms were fed with four different types of chemicals; carbon material (graphite), sulfide (MoS2), oxide (TiO2 nanotubes), and a mixture of reactive chemicals (KMnO4/MnCl2). All the fed materials were successfully integrated into the resulted silk. The capacitive performance of the resulted silk was evaluated as self-standing fabric electrodes as well as on glassy carbon substrates. The self-standing silk and the silk@glassy carbon substrate showed a great enhancement in the capacitive performance over that of the unmodified counterparts. The specific capacitance of the self-standing blank silk negative and positive electrodes was enhanced 4 and 5 folds at 10 mV/s, respectively upon the modification with KMnO4/MnCl2 compared to that of the plain silk electrodes.

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