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2024. 06. 12 -

J. Pupeikė, a PhD student at FTMC, developing e-textiles, is the author of the best poster presentation at the international event

Dr. Julija Pupeikė. Photo from personal archive
Julija Pupeikė, a PhD student at the FTMC Department of Textile Technologies, is awarded at international scientific event. She was appreciated for the best poster presentation at the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) symposium in Strasbourg.
Congratulations to our colleague and best wishes for new victories!
J. Pupeikė presented "Eco-friendly methods for developing electrically conductive textiles: using plasma treatment and PEDOT:PSS coatings". She and her colleagues are working on the clothing of the future - wearable electronics that will have a wide range of applications.
"Recent developments in textiles, electronics, information technology, advanced materials and polymer research are paving the way for the development and wider application of smart textiles. Wearable electronics (e-textiles), i.e. a textile system consisting of non-textile elements and electronics integrated in a textile material, are becoming increasingly important in human life.
Textiles are like an interface between the wearer and the environment, with high and continuous surface contact, making them suitable for medical and sports applications such as long-term monitoring of human health, physical training, personal protective equipment, workwear, etc.
Recently, polymeric materials that impart conductivity to textiles have attracted increasing interest from researchers in the fields of sensing, biomedicine, wireless antennas, energy storage and other applications. As conductive organic polymers are lightweight and flexible, they can be applied to textiles without affecting their flexibility. In addition, conductive polymer solutions are convenient for textile processing and can be easily integrated into traditional textile finishing techniques such as coating, dyeing and printing", Julija introduces her topic. 
(Photo from Julija Pupeikė's personal archive)
According to the young scientist, her research on conductive textiles aims to provide good electrical conductivity and long-wearing properties through environmentally friendly finishing methods, without losing the original flexibility of the material.
"At the FTMC Department of Textile Technologies and during my internship in Germany, we used a polymer with inherently conductive properties, poly-(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrene sulphonate (PEDOT:PSS), as a 'conductive acid dye' to provide electrical conductivity to the textile.
Traditional chemical finishing of textiles typically uses large quantities of water and electricity. To reduce their consumption, we have replaced the "wet" method of pre-washing 100% wool fabrics with a "dry" method, modifying the surface of the fabric with nitrogen gas plasma. The 'dry' method resulted in the activation and 'cleaning' of the surface of the fabric, and improved the fibre's absorbency and other properties. The coating of the conductive polymer on the plasma-treated wool fabric was formed on a recently acquired digital printing machine CHROMOJET. TableTop Printer," says J. Pupeikė.   
The experimental results were encouraging: tests on the properties of PEDOT:PSS coated textile samples showed that the materials developed by FTMC are not only electrically conductive, but also flexible, washable and abrasion-resistant, which is crucial for e-textiles.
(Julija Pupeikė. Photo from personal archive)
In the future, Julija and her colleagues plan to investigate the antimicrobial properties of textiles treated with PEDOT:PSS coatings and to collaborate with other researchers on the development of textile sensors.
"I am grateful for the support and scientific expertise of the team at the Department of Textile Technologies, as well as the team at the German Textile Research Centre "Deutschen Textilforschungszentrum Nord-West" (DTNW), where I am doing my internship," says the award-winning researcher.
J. Pupeikė's PhD thesis topic is "Application of electrically conductive polymers in textile materials" (supervisor: Dr. Audronė Sankauskaitė). Last year, Julija won the German foundation DBU project and, as mentioned above, she is currently doing her internship at the DTNW. She presented her topic at the symposium of the European Materials Research Society, which was based on the results of her research in Lithuania and Germany.
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