Engineers have fabricated microscopic chain mail to form a smart textile that could someday be embedded with sensors, processors, and other circuitry. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers Jonathan Engel and Chang Liu made the material from copper metal using techniques similar to those used in chip fabrication. Each link in the chain mail is500 microns across, five times the diameter of a human hair. From New Scientist:
The fabric has a similar tensile strength to nylon, can be bent around any shape and stretches to increase its length by one-third. It also readily conducts electricity.Link
"We are interested in perhaps using it as a flexible textile or fabric that has properties like sensing or heating," (Liu says.)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.