Designed from an aligned carbon nanotube sheet, the fluidic nanogenerator fiber can generate electricity from any flowing water source in the environment as well as in the human body, say the researchers. In addition, the fiber also has the ability to be woven into fabrics for large-scale wearable electronics applications.
The device generates electricity from the relative movement between the nanogenerator and the flowing fluidic solution in which it is placed. The amount of electricity generated was dependent on the length of its axis.
The scientists were reportedly able to measure outputs ranging from 7.7 to 85.8 mV on threads that spanned 2 to 20 cm in length. Power conversion efficiency reached 23.3% – higher than that of other miniature energy-harvesting devices.
The flexible and stretchable fluidic nanogenerator fiber maintained its performance even after deformation over 1,000,000 cycles. The researchers are continuing to develop the device, and have reportedly successfully implanted it into frogs.
Looking ahead, they envision it potentially being used to power pacemakers, body sensors, and other health monitors. For more, see “A One-Dimensional Fluidic Nanogenerator with a High Power Conversion Efficiency.”
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