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Energy Scavenging Wireless Nano Sensors Could Provide Battery-Free Devices
A group of researchers have developed the technology that will lead the way in creating nano sensors that can energize themselves. The technology will be able power tiny devices by garnering electricity from the tiniest of moments — like the pulse of a vein or blood vessel, a light breeze or the movement of someone walking. They hope to be able to create new devices that can be used as tiny implantable medical sensors, tiny flying surveillance cameras or wearable electronics.
The research team, led by Zhong Lin Wang, was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences. “It is entirely possible to drive the devices by scavenging energy from sources in the environment such as gentle airflow, vibration, sonic wave, solar, chemical, and/or thermal energy,” the team explained.
The tiny device is made up of a nanogenerator that gathers electricity, a capacitor that stores the electricity and a sensor and a radio transmitter that are very similar to those found in wireless headsets (only smaller). Right now the device can transmit clear wireless signals at distances of up to 30 feet. If the researchers could increase those distances the possibilities for use are endless, including wireless transmitters that generate constant monitoring data of patients internal organs for doctors to keep an eye on.
Via Science Daily
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