Charge Your Cell Phone With Finger Swipes

Posted: Dec 10 2016, 7:15am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Charge Your Cell Phone With Finger Swipes
Michigan State University scientists have created a new way to harvest energy from human motion, using a thin, non-toxic device that can be folded to create more power. Credit: Michigan State University
  • New nanotechnology captures energy from people

A futuristic cell phone could actually be powered by the hand movements of its owner. This is a big step on the road to progress for humanity.

Soon people may be charging their mobile phones via finger swipes and also powering their Bluetooth headsets by merely walking. Enterprising engineers have built a means of harnessing the energy of human motion. This apparatus uses a film-like gadget that is folded to generate more power.

The inexpensive device is termed a nanogenerator. Scientists operated an LCD touchscreen using this contraption. Also a whole lot of LED lights and a flexible keyboard were made functional via this setup.

The findings were published in the journal Nano Energy.

We are definitely on the path of wearing devices that could be powered by human movement. This may lead to a situation in the future when you won’t have to charge your cell phone for more than a week.

The energy it requires will be available to it thanks to your daily movements alone. It all starts with a silicone wafer. This has several layers and sheets deposited on it.

These consist of environmentally-safe materials such as silver, polyimide and polypropylene ferroelectret. Ions are also added to the mix so that each layer contained charged particles.

When human motion squeezes this device, electrical energy is produced. The accomplished fact is a biocompatible ferroelectret nanogenerator (FENG). It is as thin as a single sheet of paper.

There could be many applications and sizes to which this device could be adapted to in the future. A palm-sized device was used to power the LED lights and a finger-sized device was used to power the touchscreen.

Some of the plus points of this device are that it is feather-weight, agile, biocompatible, scalable, inexpensive and tough to boot.

All this makes FENG a very suitable material which shows great promise and is an alternative methodology in the field of energy harvesting. Many gizmos such as wireless headsets, smartphones and touchscreen gadgets can carry this feature in the future.

Also it is a miracle of modern engineering that the device becomes even more powerful when it is folded. The voltage skyrockets when you fold it. Thus the smaller it gets, the more it is energy-packed as a result.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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