Powering iPods, tiny sensors with a whiff of airJune 30th, 2011 - 4:15 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, June 30 (IANS) A new genre of tiny sensors - like airborne and stationary spy cameras - may require just a whiff of air, not a battery, to operate, thanks to a nanogenerator.
This nanogenerator can convert gentle breeze and movements of a person, among other things, to power an iPod and wireless data transmission. The device has been developed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers.
“This development represents a milestone in producing portable electronics that can be powered by body movements without the use of batteries or electrical outlets,” said Zhong Lin Wang from Georgia.
Wang and colleagues showed for the first time that they could integrate such a nanogenerator with an electronic circuit for wireless data transmission to an ordinary radio at distances up to 30 feet, reports the journal Nano Letters quoting a Georgia statement.
“Our nanogenerators are poised to change lives in the future. Their potential is only limited by one’s imagination,” he said
The nanogenerator may find a broad range of other applications that require more power, according to Wang.
He lists, for example, personal electronic devices powered by footsteps activating nanogenerators inside the sole of a shoe; implanted insulin pumps powered by a heartbeat; and environmental sensors powered by nanogenerators flapping in the breeze.
These findings were presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California.
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