Researchers have developed a metallic tab that, when connected to your human body, is capable of generating electricity from bending a finger along with other straightforward moves.
As per a research project headed by the University at Buffalo, New York, and Institute of Semiconductors (IoP) in the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), the tab — a triboelectric nanogenerator — can convert mechanical energy into electric energy for electronic devices.
“Your body is an abundant supply of energy. We thought: ‘Why not harness it to make our own power?'”
The tab has been detailed in the journal Nano Energy.
Triboelectric charging occurs when certain materials become electrically charged after coming into contact with another substance. Most everyday static electricity is triboelectric.
The tab consists of two thin layers of gold, together with polydimethylsiloxane (also known as PDMS — a silicon-based polymer used in contact lenses, Silly Putty and other goods) sandwiched in between.
One layer of gold is elongated, causing it to crumple upon release and make what seems like a miniature mountain range. When that force is reapplied, by way of instance, in the finger bending, then the motion leads to friction between the golden layers and PDMS.
The more friction, the greater the amount of energy is produced,” said Yun Xu, professor at the IoP.
That is not enough to quickly control a smartphone, but it lit 48 red LED lighting simultaneously.
The group is planning to use larger pieces of gold, which when elongated and folded together are anticipated to provide more electricity.
The researchers are also working on developing a portable battery to store energy made by the tab.
They envision the system serving as a power source for various wearable and self-powered electronics devices.