Piezoelectric materials — those that convert pressure into electrical energy — have the potential to power portable electronics if they are integrated into running shoes, for example.
Madhu Bhaskaran and co-workers, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, have assessed the energy generation capabilities of piezoelectric thin films at the nanoscale for the first time. They have precisely measured the level of electrical voltage and current — and, therefore, power — that could be generated by continuous thin films and lithographically patterned nanoislands (see picture).
The results demonstrate that nanopatterning improves the materials’ performance. This understanding could lead to more efficient energy-harvesting systems in the development of devices powered through movement.
Image: (c) Wiley-VCH
- Nanoscale Characterization of Energy Generation from Piezoelectric Thin Films
M. Bhaskaran, S. Sriram, S. Ruffell, A. Mitchell,
Adv. Funct. Mater. 2011, 21(12), 2251—2257.