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How piezoelectric thin films can be used to supply power to your notebook

Thanks to a research done at Australia's RMIT University, users may soon charge their laptops simply by touching the screen

According to TG Daily, scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia managed, for the first time, to typify the capability of piezoelectric thin films to generate electricity via mechanical pressure. Reportedly, this could prove quite beneficial in manufacturing electronic devices (such as notebooks) that are self-powered.

Effortless acts like touching the screen or pressing a key could procure enough mechanical pressure and deliver electricity. Lead co-author Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran has supposedly claimed that thin-film piezoelectric microchips are able to convert pressure into electricity. She was quoted as saying:

"Our study focused on thin film coatings because we believe they hold the only practical possibility of integrating piezoelectrics into existing electronic technology"… "The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers - essentially creating an everlasting battery."

The research team has reportedly been able to estimate the piezoelectric thin films ability to produce energy at the nanoscale; however, reports indicate that the generated power is just a tenth of what a present day battery can supply. Nevertheless Dr. Bhaskaran is optimistic that a solution will be found in the near future.

"The next key challenge will be amplifying the electrical energy generated by the piezoelectric materials to enable them to be integrated into low-cost, compact structures."

This research begun in 2006 and is approximately 2 to 3 years away from implementing a product that can be commercially spread.

Source(s)

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2011 06 > How piezoelectric thin films can be used to supply power to your notebook
Author: Ivan Zhekov, 2011-06-21 (Update: 2012-05-26)