Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanowire Fashions For Spring

Textile fibers covered with zinc oxide nanowires have been shown to generate electricity. Georgia Tech researchers have done the work: your clothing may be able to power your iPhone or Blackberry just by harvesting the energy in bodily movement.


(Piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowires)

Here's how it works:

[P]airs of textile fibers covered with zinc oxide nanowires generate electricity in response to applied mechanical stress. Known as "the piezoelectric effect," the resulting current flow from many fiber pairs woven into a shirt or jacket could allow the wearer's body movement to power a range of portable electronic devices. The fibers could also be woven into curtains, tents or other structures to capture energy from wind motion, sound vibration or other mechanical energy.

Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, remarks

"The two fibers scrub together just like two bottle brushes with their bristles touching, and the piezoelectric-semiconductor process converts the mechanical motion into electrical energy. Many of these devices could be put together to produce higher power output."

Thus far, researchers have measured current of about four nanoamperes and a voltage of four millivolts from a nanogenerator that included two fibers that were each one centimeter long.


(Piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowire test stand)

Wang estimates that a square meter of the special fabric could generate as much as 80 milliwatts of continuous power.

My favorite instance of parasitic power harvesting is, of course, the stillsuit from Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune. In the novel, the larger motions of the body, like breathing and walking, were parasitized for their power.

Paul sat on the edge of his bed and began stripping off his desert boots. They smelled rancid from the lubricant which eased the action of the heel-powered pumps that drove his stillsuit.
(Read more about the stillsuit from Dune)

Make sure your future fashions make use of this research:

From National Science Foundation via Tech-Stiles: Clothes that produce power.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/16/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'... lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.

3D Printing Of Metallic Glass
Great Scott!

Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'

How To Encode The 'Memory' Of Materials
'Just jar it, and it falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Habitability Of Galactic Bulge - Good News For Foundation Fans
'Toran resigned himself to days of careful plotting between Jumps.'

Lava Tubes On Mars And Moon May Be Huge
'Most of the stuff written about Bats' Cave gives a wrong impression.'

Olfactory User Interfaces - Judith Amores Dissertation
Awakened with a whiff of lemon.

Personalized Masks Appear
'The tiger stripes on Jim's mask... made the young people easy to identify.'

Foiling Facial Recognition, Fighting Coaster Viruses, Harlan Ellison-Style
I have no mouth and I must scream.

Ford Uses Obedient Robot Dogs To Update Facilities Maps
'If he sent out two or three of the small tele-operated devices... [he] could see machinery and construction details in real time from both above and below.'

AirTouch Panels Means No More Dirty Touchscreens!
Useful interfaces now appear in thin air.

EllipticaRunner Robot Is Fast, Amazing, Slightly Worrisome
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail in New Delhi...'

SPECTER Electroshock Round Fireable From Shotgun
'...the balls sent by this gun are not ordinary balls, but little cases of glass.'

100 Terabyte Exadrive SSD Also Has Biggest Price
'A man could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres in a Schrön loop.'

Mechanical Milking Of Microalgae For Fuel Production
'They call 'em culture tanks. They have bugs -- germs -- growing in them.'

Feel Virtual Reality In Mid-Air!
'...a pressure on the lips - warm and soft, moist and sweet.'

Electric Lasso Gives Police Options
'The blast of silver threads enveloped her...'

TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'

Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.