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Self-powered devices possible, says Texas A&M researcher
Date:12/1/2008

een reported that a Hong Kong gym is using the technology to convert energy from exercisers to help power its lights and music.

While advances in those applications continue to progress, piezoelectric work at the nanoscale is a relatively new endeavor with different and complex aspects to consider, said Cagin.

For example, imagine going from working with a material the size and shape of a telephone post to dealing with that same material the size of a hair, he said. When such a significant change in scale occurs, materials react differently. In this case, something the size of a hair is much more pliable and susceptible to change from its surrounding environment, Cagin noted. These types of changes have to be taken into consideration when conducting research at this scale, he said.

"When materials are brought down to the nanoscale dimension, their properties for some performance characteristics dramatically change," said Cagin who is a past recipient of the prestigious Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology. "One such example is with piezoelectric materials. We have demonstrated that when you go to a particular length scale between 20 and 23 nanometers you actually improve the energy-harvesting capacity by 100 percent.

"We're studying basic laws of nature such as physics and we're trying to apply that in terms of developing better engineering materials, better performing engineering materials. We're looking at chemical constitutions and physical compositions. And then we're looking at how to manipulate these structures so that we can improve the performance of these materials."


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Contact: Ryan Garcia
ryan.garcia99@tamu.edu
979-845-9237
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

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