Rubber duckies could soon be at the forefront of an electronic revolution.
In ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, scientists report they have used specialized nanogenerators that gather energy from mechanical vibrations to transform squeaky bathtub companions and other conventional children’s toys into ‘smart’ electronics. They say the finding could have broad commercial applications, leading to the development of battery-free, self-powered toys, medical sensors and other devices. Watch a video of prototype toys here.
By age 4, virtually every child has had contact with an electronic toy or mobile device, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Keeping these devices blinking and beeping is tedious, often requiring frequent charging or battery changes. Researchers have explored alternative ways to produce and store energy for these devices without using batteries. One promising approach involves the use of triboelectric nanogenerators, or TENGs. TENGs gather electrical charges from friction, similar to the static that builds up on a balloon when it is rubbed against someone’s head. TENGs amplify and convert this biomechanical energy into a usable form. However, ramping up these devices for commercial applications has been challenging, possibly because of low energy storage and conversion efficiencies. To address some of these issues, Sang-Jae Kim and colleagues at Jeju National University in South Korea sought to more effectively harness the energy from TENGs and use it to transform traditional toys into commercially viable, self-powered ‘smart’ toys.
The researchers designed and incorporated TENGs — made with aluminum electrodes and an eco-friendly silicone-like film between them — into rubber ducks and clapping toys. Squeezing or shaking the toys alternatively separated and brought the electrodes into contact with film, creating an electrical charge. Once activated, the TENGs harvested enough biomechanical energy to illuminate several LED lights attached to each toy. The TENGs were durable, suggesting they could operate for substantial periods. The researchers conclude their unique approach can transform traditional toys into battery-free interactive ones, and raises the prospect of successfully using TENGs commercially in other “smart” gadgets including medical devices and wearable electronics.
The Latest on: Triboelectric nanogenerators
via Google News
The Latest on: Triboelectric nanogenerators
- Nanotech powers this super-sensitive microphone on July 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm
Triboelectric nanogenerators have been around for a few years, creating power by having two compatible materials interact with each other at super-small scales. While they’re tiny and highly efficient ... […]
- Nanogenerators go wireless on December 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm
It is also the first time a triboelectric nanogenrator has been directly 3D printed from biodegradable materials. The nanogenerator harvests mechanical energy and converts into electrical energy and t... […]
- Nanogenerator Gets More Flexible and Transparent on May 31, 2017 at 11:05 am
Just last week, a research team in South Korea devised a way to improve the electrical output of the triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technolog... […]
- New polymer improves power output of triboelectric nanogenerators on May 30, 2017 at 5:30 am
Photographs of a flexible PVDF-Gn film after it was peeled off and a PVDF-Gn–based TENG. Credit: Science Advances 26 May 2017: Vol. 3, no. 5, e1602902 , DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602902 (Phys.org)—A team o... […]
- Nanogenerators Could Charge Your Smartphone on May 26, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have been exploring the applications and commercial potential for triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) since 2012. These so-called TENGs essentially ... […]
- Smartwatches could be charged by wrist motion on May 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm
This is possible through the use of triboelectric nanogenerators. Triboelectric nanogenerators are tiny devices which function to convert movement into electricity. For some scientists these provide t... […]
- Triboelectric nanogenerators boost mass spectrometry performance on February 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm
A proof of concept triboelectric nanogenerator produces electrical charges for a mass spectrometer. Georgia Tech researchers have shown that replacing conventional power supplies with TENG devices for ... […]
- New Fabric Uses Sun and Wind to Power Devices on September 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm
To make the fabric, Wang’s team used a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells constructed from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators. Triboelectric ... […]
- Bend it, twist it, generate electricity with it — these nanogenerators may make energy easy on June 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Mama said don’t jump on the bed — but what if that bed is made out of shape-adaptive triboelectric nanogenerators? What if our horseplay could power the house? Then could we jump on it? Shape adaptive ... […]
via Bing News