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Graphene dress lights up energy expo

27 Jun 2017

University delegation is ‘frocking’ the international stage to showcase great British innovation

Graphene dress on the catwalk

A high-tech dress featuring advanced material graphene was put on the international stage to help showcase great British innovation.

The little black graphene dress stormed the catwalk at EXPO 2017 in Astana as part of celebrations to mark the UK’s national day.

First unveiled earlier this year at the intu Trafford Centre in Manchester, the dress changes colour in sync with the wearer’s breathing, using tiny LED lights. Graphene was used to power the LED lights and as a sensor to record the wearer’s breathing, while a woven lightweight nylon fabric was used to frame the dress.

The University – which isolated graphene, the world’s first 2D material in 2004 – are co-sponsors of the UK Pavilion at the international energy expo.

“Graphene is a key feature of the UK Pavilion and a big draw to thousands of visitors - so it made perfect sense to include the graphene dress in the UK fashion show which displayed British flair and innovation,” said James Tallentire, a member of the University’s delegation at EXPO 2017.

Graphene, which is just one atom thick and a million times thinner than human hair, is being promoted to international audiences as potentially one of the most transformational technologies of our time.

These experts will be sharing their knowledge and experience at a VIP event on June 28 within the UK Pavilion.

The Manchester delegation is being led by Professor Steve Flint, the University’s Associate Vice-President for Internationalisation.

As part of UK national day celebrations Professor Flint joined a VIP tour of the expo site, including a visit to the Shell Energy Lab and the impressive Kasakh home Pavilion. Global energy giant Shell is sponsoring the UK Pavilion alongside the University.

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