Researchers have discovered yet another way to harvest small amounts of electricity from motion in the world around us -- this time by capturing the electrical charge produced when two different kinds of plastic materials rub against one another. Based on flexible polymer materials, this "triboelectric" generator could provide alternating current (AC) from activities such as walking.
The triboelectric generator could supplement power produced by nanogenerators that use the piezoelectric effect to create current from the flexing of zinc oxide nanowires. And because these triboelectric generators can be made nearly transparent, they could offer a new way to produce active sensors that might replace technology now used for touch-sensitive device displays.
Jamie wrote:I seem to remember a similar idea using paving slabs to generate electric when people walk over them.
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