Power Generated by Body Movements

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A new invention is taking place. Now we would be able to draw power from being squeezed between two fingers, Thanks to nanotechnology. Nanogenerators are poised to change lives in future. US scientist have developed the first commercially viable nanogenerator, a flexible chip that can use body movements- a finger pinch now enroute to a pulse beat in the future- to generate electricity.

This development is stepping stone towards developing portable electronics that could be run by body movements without the help of batteries. Nanogenerator have designed powerfull enough to drive commercial liquid crystals displays, light emitting diodes and laser diodes. Storing a generated charges in the capacitor, the output power is capable to periodically drive a sensor and transmitting the signal without using wires. The nanogenerator may find a broad range of other applications that require more power.

    Few examples where nanogenerator can be used

1. Electronics device powered by footsteps activating nanogenerator inside the sole of the shoe

2. Implanted insulin pumps powered by a heart beat

3. Environment sensors powered by nanogenerators flapping in the breeze

Zhong Lin Wang, the lead scientist of this invention at Georgia Tech., demonstrated along with the colleagues that commercial feasibility of the latest nanogenerater by using it to power an LED light and a liquid crystal display like those widely used in many devices, such as calculators and computers. The power came from squeezing nanogenerators between two fingers.


The key to the technology is zinc oxide (ZnO)  Nanowires. ZnO nanowires are piezoelectric- i.ethey can generate power an electric current when strained or flexed. That movements can be virtually any body movements such as walking, a heartbeat, or blood flowing through the body. The nanowires can generate electricity in response to wind, rolling tires or mwnse to wind, rolling tires or many other kinds of movement.

The diameter of ZnO nanowires is so small that 500 of nanowires can fit inside the width of a single human hair. Wang’s group found a way to capture and combine the electrical charges from millions of nanoscales zinc oxide wires. They also developed an efficient way to developed an efficient way to deposit the nanowires onto flexible polymer chips, each about a quarter the size of postage stamp. Five nanogenerators stacked together produce about the power of two AA batteries (about 3 volts). Additional nanowires and more nanogenerator stacked together could produce enough energy for powering larger electronics, such as ipods or a cellphones.


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