Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > New Material Could Efficiently Power Tiny Generators

Xudong Wang
Xudong Wang

Abstract:
To power a very small device like a pacemaker or a transistor, you need an even smaller generator. The components that operate the generator are smaller yet, and the efficiency of those foundational components is critical to the performance of the overall device.

New Material Could Efficiently Power Tiny Generators

Madison, WI | Posted on October 22nd, 2009

For his Ph.D. at the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison materials science and engineering assistant professor Xudong Wang was part of a team that developed a piezoelectric nanogenerator and experimented with a variety of materials to power it.

The team found that zinc oxide nanowires, which have six-sided, column-like crystals, could produce 10 nanowatts per square centimeter by converting mechanical energy into electricity. The mechanical energy could come from environmental sources as varied as wind, car engines, human breathing, blood flow, body movements, or acoustic and ultrasonic vibrations.

While the advance was exciting, the zinc oxide nanowires had a low efficiency rate, and now at UW-Madison, Wang is tackling this challenge by researching a new material that could make the nanogenerator more efficient and powerful. An optimized nanogenerator could power small devices with a wide range of applications, such as LEDs, MEMS, transistors and biomedical devices such as pacemakers, robots, sensors or sensor diodes.

Wang is developing ferroelectric materials that could produce nanowires with 10 times the electric potential of the original zinc oxide ones. The increase occurs because the crystal of a ferroelectric material is made of spatially unbalanced atoms that produce automatic, permanent polarization in the material. When Wang introduces strain inside this unbalanced crystal, the polarization is enhanced, creating a significant amount of electric potential.

Very little mechanical energy would be needed to power the new nanogenerator because even a small amount of displacement has a larger effect on nanoscale materials than regular materials - a theory Wang intends to prove in his lab.

One challenge is fabricating the ferroelectric nanowires, which is a more complicated process than fabricating zinc oxide nanowires. To grow the ferroelectric nanowires, Wang uses a molten salt process. Molten sodium chloride acts as the reaction medium to assist the nanowires in self-assembling from precursors at around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Each nanowire is 10,000 times smaller than a single human hair.

"We are currently investigating how much potential can be generated by such nanowires when they are deflected using atomic force microscopy," Wang says.

Wang's ultimate goal is to make a real nanogenerator capable of powering a variety of small devices. Since the generator would require such a small amount of power from sources that are continuously providing energy, it could serve essentially as an eternal battery.

####

About University of Wisconsin-Madison
Come see for yourself what makes UW–Madison such a vibrant living and learning community. Whether you are a prospective student, a history buff, a fan of Big Ten athletics, a performing arts aficionado — or simply someone who enjoys learning new things — we are here to help you experience our campus firsthand.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Xudong Wang
608-890-2667


Sandra Knisely
608-265-8592

Copyright © University of Wisconsin-Madison

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Novel Rocket Design Flight Tested: New Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Offers High Performance and Safety October 23rd, 2014

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 2014

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

QD Vision Wins Prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency October 16th, 2014

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes - Planar light source using a phosphor screen with highly crystalline single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as field emitters demonstrates its potential for energy-efficient lighting device October 14th, 2014

Aledia’s Nanowire LED Technology Endorsed By 2014 Physics Nobel Prize Winner: Hiroshi Amano Serves on Company’s Scientific Advisory Board October 13th, 2014

MEMS

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Leti to Present Technological Platforms Targeting Industry’s Needs for the Future at Semicon West Workshop: Presentation at STS Session to Focus on Leti Advanced Lithography Programs for 1x Nodes and on Silicon Photonics at TechXPot June 25th, 2014

Announcements

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 2014

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Energy

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Graphenea opens US branch October 16th, 2014

NTU develops ultra-fast charging batteries that last 20 years October 14th, 2014

Electrically conductive plastics promising for batteries, solar cells October 10th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE