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Charging ahead: University of Houston team revealing secrets of electricity-producing materials
Date:7/27/2009

c nanostructures remains challenging. The amount of power that can be harvested is still too low to actually power wearable devices, he says, unless efficient electric storage solutions, like nanocapacitors, also are conceived.

Sharma says he would like to see wasted energy be harvested from a variety of sources.

"In principle, any human activities for example, walking, jumping, swimming will produce a certain amount of energy," he says, and could be made into electricity by piezoelectric nanostructures in shoes or in backpacks.

White says it's a matter of controlling materials' structures to the point at which considerably more power can be harvested from common activities.

"An enormous benefit can be expected in everything from soldiers in the field, to police on the street, to air and ground vehicles in the form of locally powered devices," White explains.

Sharma says the environment contains plenty of waste energy that can be harnessed into useful energy to make ours a "self-powered autonomous society."

"Recent technological advances and breakthroughs play an important role toward achieving that goal, but we need to be patient," he says. "Quantum mechanics, the basis of modern electronics, was 'discovered' in the early 1900s. Think how long it has taken for us to exploit that."


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Contact: Angela Hopp
ahopp@uh.edu
713-743-8153
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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