Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Democratizing synthetic biology: New method makes research cheaper, faster, and more accessible March 3rd, 2015

Pens filled with high-tech inks for do-it-yourself sensors March 3rd, 2015

Black phosphorus is new 'wonder material' for improving optical communication March 3rd, 2015

Heightened Efficiency in Purification of Wastewater Using Nanomembranes March 3rd, 2015

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Breakthrough in OLED technology March 2nd, 2015

New nanowire structure absorbs light efficiently: Dual-type nanowire arrays can be used in applications such as LEDs and solar cells February 25th, 2015

QD Vision Named Edison Award Finalist for Innovative Color IQ™ Quantum Dot Technology February 23rd, 2015

JunPus launched high-performance thermal grease for LED February 20th, 2015

MEMS

MEMS/Sensors Drive IoT/E Innovation in Europe: MEMS Executive Congress Europe Speakers Explore Internet of Things/Everything in Automotive, Consumer, Industrial Markets, 9-10, March in Copenhagen February 9th, 2015

STMicroelectronics Leads European Research Project to Develop Next-Generation Optical MEMS: Extension to a project launched in 2013 builds on current efforts to enable technologies for next-generation applications February 4th, 2015

Entegris Launches Dispense System Optimized for 3D and MEMS Applications: New IntelliGen® MV system delivers process efficiencies and defect reduction in dispensing mid-viscosity fluids February 3rd, 2015

CNSE's Smart System Technology & Commercialization Center Successfully Recertifies as ISO 9001:2008 January 12th, 2015

Announcements

Democratizing synthetic biology: New method makes research cheaper, faster, and more accessible March 3rd, 2015

Pens filled with high-tech inks for do-it-yourself sensors March 3rd, 2015

Black phosphorus is new 'wonder material' for improving optical communication March 3rd, 2015

Heightened Efficiency in Purification of Wastewater Using Nanomembranes March 3rd, 2015

Energy

UC research partnership explores how to best harness solar power March 2nd, 2015

New nanowire structure absorbs light efficiently: Dual-type nanowire arrays can be used in applications such as LEDs and solar cells February 25th, 2015

Learning by eye: Silicon micro-funnels increase the efficiency of solar cells February 25th, 2015

Magnetic nanoparticles enhance performance of solar cells X-ray study points the way to higher energy yields February 25th, 2015

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

Glass coating improves battery performance: To improve lithium-sulfur batteries, researchers added glass cage-like coating and graphene oxide March 2nd, 2015

Scientific breakthrough in rechargeable batteries: Researchers from Singapore and Québec Team Up to Develop Next-Generation Materials to Power Electronic Devices and Electric Vehicles February 28th, 2015

In quest for better lithium-air batteries, chemists boost carbon's stability: Nanoparticle coatings improve stability, cyclability of '3DOm' carbon February 25th, 2015

Dendrite eraser: New electrolyte rids batteries of short-circuiting fibers: Solution enables a battery with both high efficiency & current density February 24th, 2015

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 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE