Nanogenerators could turn you into a battery

Tired of having to carry batteries around with you for all your devices? New technology being developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology may change all of that. Scientists are looking to use nanotechnology to turn you into a battery. Zinc oxide nanowires, which are non-toxic and safe for humans, would be implanted into the body. The bending and relaxing of those wires would create electricity. That means that we would be creating electricity just by moving or flexing our muscles.

Zhong Lin Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology has created a prototype nanogenerator. Every time a nanowire is flexed it emits a piezoelectric charge. That’s an electrical discharge that is created when materials are put under mechanical stress. The nanowires would not impede or constrain people. A nanometer is just one billionth of a meter. A human hair is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

One possible uses of the technology that Wang foresees is for soldiers. Nanogenerators in their shoes could produce electricity as they walk so that they would not have to carry batteries to power their devices.


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