Researchers Discover New Technique for Powering Nano Devices Without Use of Batteries
NWN Speaks to Lead Researcher Professor Zhong Lin Wang at Georgia Tech About This BreakthroughThis month, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology announced that they have developed a novel technique to power nanometer-scale devices without the need for batteries and other bulky energy sources. This research was sponsored by several federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NASA Vehicle Systems Program and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Professor Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his team have found a way to convert mechanical energy from body movement, muscle stretching or water flow into electricity. These "nanogenerators" could pave the way for a new class of self-powered portable electronics, sensors, even implantable medical devices.
Dr. Wang sees nanotechnology as critical in creating novel energy applications. “Nanodevices have much reduced need for power, which makes it possible to use nanotechnology to create tiny power that is sufficient to power them. Energy harvested from the working environment is critical for these devices,” said Wang. In addition to possible applications for the defense sector, Dr. Wang said these new ‘nanogenerators’ “could be applied to biomedical devices for implantable biosensing and biodetection. It can also be applied to civilian electronics, such as a walkman.”
In related news, NSTI Nanotech 2006 will include a special symposium on nanotechnology and its use for energy technologies and applications. For more information on this program, please visit www.nsti.org/Nanotech2006/symposia/Energy_Technologies_Applications.html