A new large-area piezoelectric nanogenerator technology has been developed by a team of scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The new technology uses piezoelectric ceramic nanoparticles and overcome limitations of previous piezoelectric materials.
Led by Prof. Keon Jae Lee, the team set itself the goal to build a simple and low-cost energy system. The piezoelectric nanocomposite has been built by mixing piezoelectric nanoparticles with carbon nanotubes and reduced graphene oxide.
They embedded this mix in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix and fabricated the nanocomposite generator by the simple process of spin-casting or bar-coating method.
“This exciting result first introduces a nanocomposite material into the self-powered energy system, and therefore it can expand the feasibility of nanogenerator in consumer electronics, ubiquitous sensor networks, and wearable clothes.”
Piezoelectric materials can used in anything from harvesting road vibrations and turning them into electricity to powering various sensors in delicate areas of various buildings or systems, where power cables couldn’t possibly reach.
The most spread piezoelectric materials nowadays are pretty expensive and not very energy-efficient. However, discoveries like Keon’s and others’ are constantly improving this realm.