Sunday, April 16, 2006


ScienceDaily: Nanogenerators Convert Mechanical Energy To Electricity For Self-powered Devices

By bending and releasing zinc oxide nanowires, this research hopes to convert the mechanical energy of body movement or muscle stretching into electricity.

Though attractive for use inside the body because zinc oxide is non-toxic, the nanogenerators could also be used wherever mechanical energy -- hydraulic motion of seawater, wind or the motion of a foot inside a shoe -- is available. The nanowires can be grown not only on crystal substrates, but also on polymer-based films. Use of flexible polymer substrates could one day allow portable devices to be powered by the movement of their users.

"You could envision having these nanogenerators in your shoes to produce electricity as you walk," Wang said. "This could be beneficial to soldiers in the field, who now depend on batteries to power their electrical equipment. As long as the soldiers were moving, they could generate electricity."

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