Home > Uncategorized > Scientists in India and Germany have unveiled a material that generates tiny amounts of electricity from mechanical stresses

Scientists in India and Germany have unveiled a material that generates tiny amounts of electricity from mechanical stresses

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Scientists in India and Germany have unveiled a material that generates tiny amounts of electricity from mechanical stresses like a person’s touch or step. The idea is to create a biodegradable energy source that can pump electricity into a storage supercapacitor to power electronics, replace batteries and safely break down without polluting the environment.

Their material, described in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces, is a biodegradable plastic polymer called polyvinylidene difluoride sandwiched between conducting carbon electrodes. Interestingly, they mixed DNA with the plastic because the genetic material is biodegradable while having properties that help harvest electricity. In fact, DNA is known for its ability to accumulate electric charge when mechanical stress is applied to the molecule, a property called piezoelectricity.

In lab tests, a researcher pressing on a small piece of the prototype material generated enough electricity to light 55 blue LEDs. Putting the material on a shoe and then juggling a soccer ball, they recorded small bursts of electricity with every hit.

The nanogenerator (NG) “is capable of harvesting energy from a variety of easily accessible mechanical stress such as human touch, machine vibration, football juggling and walking,” the authors conclude. “The generated energy can be used to charge capacitors providing a wide scope for the design of self-powered portable devices.”

Their material is still in its early stages of development with many improvements that still need to be made. The nanogenerator is also competing with other piezoelectric devicesbeing developed around the world. Its biodegradability is an improvement over previous projects.

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