Tahir Cagin, from the Texas A&M University, recently discovered that a specific type of piezoelectric material could convert sound waves into electric current 100 percent more efficient than current devices, when it is manufactured at a very small size – 21 nanometers. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, reaching the measuring size of atoms and molecules.
This discovery could be used in powering small devices, such as mp3s and cell phones (less likely, because cell phones need more power), and have application from military to medical field. The principle is that smaller-size piezoelectric materials vibrate much more powerfully and can convert to electricity at a much greater efficiency.
Key to this technology, Cagin explained, are piezoelectrics. Derived from the Greek word “piezein,” which means “to press,” piezoelectrics are materials (usually crystals or ceramics) that generate voltage when a form of mechanical stress is applied. Conversely, they demonstrate a change in their physical properties when an electric field is applied.
No figures have been released as to how much electricity (in amps and volts) can these devices harvest, so it remains an open subject. If you have news on it, feel free to post a comment below. It’s free!