Warming up human body by nanoporous metallized polyethylene textile

Lili Cai, Alex Y. Song, Peilin Wu, Po Chun Hsu, Yucan Peng, Jun Chen, Chong Liu, Peter B. Catrysse, Yayuan Liu, Ankun Yang, Chenxing Zhou, Chenyu Zhou, Shanhui Fan, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Space heating accounts for the largest energy end-use of buildings that imposes significant burden on the society. The energy wasted for heating the empty space of the entire building can be saved by passively heating the immediate environment around the human body. Here, we demonstrate a nanophotonic structure textile with tailored infrared (IR) property for passive personal heating using nanoporous metallized polyethylene. By constructing an IR-reflective layer on an IR-transparent layer with embedded nanopores, the nanoporous metallized polyethylene textile achieves a minimal IR emissivity (10.1%) on the outer surface that effectively suppresses heat radiation loss without sacrificing wearing comfort. This enables 7.1 °C decrease of the set-point compared to normal textile, greatly outperforming other radiative heating textiles by more than 3 °C. This large set-point expansion can save more than 35% of building heating energy in a cost-effective way, and ultimately contribute to the relief of global energy and climate issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number496
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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