Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Mobile Phones Come Alive With the Sound of Music, Thanks to Nanogenerators

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Scientists have developed a way to charge mobile phones with everyday background noise.

A new energy-harvesting prototype called a nanogenerator creates voltage for charging cellphones by converting energy from motion into electrical energy.

Credit: Peter Griffin

Everyday background noise could be used to charge mobile phones, according to scientists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Nokia.

Building on previous research that found playing pop and rock music improves the performance of solar cells, a QMUL team worked with Nokia to develop an energy-harvesting prototype called a nanogenerator, using the key properties of zinc oxide. When squashed or stretched, the material creates a voltage by converting energy from motion into electrical energy, in the form of nanorods.

The researchers note the energy harvesting can be very versatile when the nanorods are coated onto various surfaces in different locations.

The team also developed a way to reduce costs so the nanogenerators can be produced at scale.

The device is about the same size as a Nokia Lumina 925 smartphone and generates five volts, enough to charge a phone. "Being able to keep mobile devices working for longer, or do away with batteries completely by tapping into the stray energy that is all around us, is an exciting concept," says QMUL's Joe Briscoe.

From Queen Mary, University of London
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found