A new material developed by researchers at Princeton and Caltech is capable of harvesting energy from the simplest of movements like walking or breathing. This new rubber chip made of PZT (lead zirconate titanate) nanoribbons could eventually power small portable electronic devices like cell phones.
The PZT is embedded in silicone rubber sheets that produce electricity when flexed or other pressure is applied. The scientists who developed the chip see them being inserted into shoes or even within the body to continually harness power for our portable devices.
Before that freaks you out too much, the scientists envision the chips being placed next to the lungs to utilize breathing motions for powering pacemakers. Pacemaker users wouldn't have to undergo surgery to replace batteries since their breathing would be a constant source of energy.
The reason this particular material stands out compared to all of the other piezoelectric materials out there is that it's far more efficient. According to the researchers, PZT can convert 80 percent of mechanical energy applied to it into electric energy, which is 100 times more efficient than quartz. That efficiency allows it to harness such small movements like breathing and opens up a much greater range of possibilities for its use.
written by John for Recycling, February 02, 2010
written by Marie T, February 02, 2010
written by Ben R, February 03, 2010
written by VeruTek Green Technologies, February 03, 2010
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