TR+March+2009+-+Nanopiezotronics - N A N OT E C H...

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TR10 50 TECHNOLOGY REVIEW MARCH /APRIL 2±±9 NANOGENERATOR Arrays of zinc oxide nanowires packaged in a thin polymer fi lm generate electrical current when exed. The nanogenerator could be embedded in clothing and used to convert the rustling of fabric into current to power portable devices such as cell phones. Last November, Wang embedded zinc oxide nanowires in a layer of polymer; the resulting sheets put out 50 millivolts when fl exed. This is a major step forward in powering tiny sensors. And Wang hopes that these generators could eventually be woven into fabric; the rustling of a shirt could generate enough power to charge the batteries of devices NANOTECH Nanopiezotronics Zhong Lin Wang thinks piezoelectric nanowires could power implantable medical devices and serve as tiny sensors. like iPods. For now, the nanogenerator’s output is too low for that. “We need to get to 200 millivolts or more,” says Wang. He’ll get there by layering the wires, he says, though it might take fi ve to ten more years of careful engineering. Meanwhile, Wang has demonstrated the fi rst components for a new class of nanoscale sensors. Nanopiezotronics, as BRYAN CHRISTIE DESIGN Relaxed, the nanowire gener- ates no voltage Zinc oxide nanowire Voltmeter N anoscale sensors are exquisitely sensitive, very frugal with power, and, of course, tiny. They could be useful in detecting molecular signs of disease in the blood, minute amounts of poisonous gases in the air, and trace contaminants in food. But the batteries and integrated circuits necessary to drive these devices make them di± cult to fully miniaturize. The goal of Zhong Lin Wang,
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course MGT 3743 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Georgia Tech.

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TR+March+2009+-+Nanopiezotronics - N A N OT E C H...

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