mobile | classic  
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine


Search...

Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2015


 

Harvesting energy from touch screens
23 June 2010, News

The field of energy harvesting has been advancing rapidly with a considerable amount of research and development currently underway at several research laboratories across the globe.

The technology allows energy from external sources to be utilised to power a device. The efficiency is mainly dependent on the nature of the material that is used to design the energy harvesting device. Materials that have been used for energy harvesting applications include piezoelectric, thermoelectric, electrostatic and electroactive polymers.

Piezoelectric materials have a tendency to undergo mechanical deformation under the application of an external electric field and can also produce an electric field on the application of mechanical stress on the material itself. Energy harvesting solutions constitute one of the main applications of piezoelectrics. Scientists across the world are working toward developing devices that incorporate nanoscale piezoelectronics to harvest mechanical energy from ambient energy sources such as vibrations caused by footsteps. However, there are a number of challenges yet to be overcome before such devices become commercially available. The power output derived from a single piezoelectric nanowire is very small, thus requiring the integration of several wires into a larger array.

Touch screen technology is being deployed rapidly in a wide range of applications such as mobile phones, laptops, personal computers, tablet computers, e-book readers and so on. Researchers at Sungkunkwan University in Korea, together with researchers at Samsung, have devised an innovative technique of capturing power from a touch screen when it flexes under a user’s touch. On pressing a touch screen, a change is induced in the electrical potential across the nanowires that are originally used to detect the location of the touch.

Flexible and transparent electrodes have been integrated with energy scavenging materials so as to create a film capable of providing supplementary power for electronic devices. Roll-to-roll manufacturing processes can be used to print this film over large areas and can be expected to enter the market in about five years.

The device developed by the team of researchers comprises a sandwich of piezoelectric nanorods between conductive graphene electrodes on top of flexible plastic sheets. The aim of this research is to develop the flexible touch sensor system as a replacement for the power hungry electrodes and sensors that are employed on the front of touch screens. The method used to construct the nanogenerators involves growing graphene on top of a silicon substrate using the chemical vapour deposition process. In order to address the power output issue, the researchers are experimenting with doping to improve conductivity.

The researchers hope that in the future such a system could be capable of generating enough energy to even power the display of the portable electronic device and other functions as well. For example, the process of rolling up a screen could also aid in recharging the batteries. The applications that could be served by such a solution include wireless power sources for foldable, stretchable and wearable electronics.

The material developed by the researchers can generate up to 20 nanowatts per square centimetre, with further developments resulting in approximately one microwatt per square centimetre. This would be enough to power a touch sensor, thereby opening up new applications that could help realise flexible and self-powered electronic devices without the need for batteries.

For more information contact Patrick Cairns, Frost & Sullivan, +27 (0)18 464 2402, patrick.cairns@frost.com, www.frost.com


       

Further reading:

  • DTI backs AREI at official launch
    25 February 2015, News
    A guest speaker from the DTI assured attendees that the department shares industry’s enthusiasm for the new venture.
  • Altech UEC backs Namec call for DTT spend
    18 March 2015, News
    Danie du Toit, managing director of Altech Multimedia, urges government not to leave local electronics manufacturers out in the cold.
  • Local PCB suppliers join forces
    18 March 2015, News
    The joint venture between EDA Technologies and Cirtech Electronics will benefit from each company’s complementary strengths.
  • Avnet Kopp’s technology seminars a success
    18 March 2015, Avnet Kopp, News
    Delegates expressed their appreciation for how the seminars concentrated on technologies rather than resorting to marketing presentations.
  • UK startup’s flexible ICs lure big investors
    18 March 2015, News
    PragmatIC Printing, a flexible electronics innovator in the UK, has completed a £5,4 million funding round, led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), with support from ARM Holdings and existing shareholders, ...
  • Cape ECM assembling a solid base for further growth
    4 February 2015, Montar Manufacturing, News, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    Six years since publicly announcing its arrival on the South African electronics contract manufacturing (ECM) scene, and seven years since its inception, Montar Manufacturing has made smart use of its ...
  • Man-made trees harvest energy
    25 February 2015, News
    Scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have prototyped a tree that harvests solar energy from its surroundings, stores it and turns it into electricity to power small devices such as mobile ...
  • Comtest celebrates 10th anniversary
    25 February 2015, Comtest, News
    The milestone occasion served to not only celebrate the company’s successes, but also to announce a change in leadership.
  • Win a Microchip 3DTouchPad
    25 February 2015, Technews Publishing, News
    Dataweek is offering readers the chance to win a production-ready 2D/3D input sensing development kit and reference design.
  • ARM launches gambit for 2016’s premium mobile devices
    25 February 2015, News
    The main talking point of this lineup – the Cortex-A72 – is based on the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture while providing full backward compatibility to existing 32-bit software.
  • Appointments
    25 February 2015, News
       Derek Bell has joined Surn Technologies in an account manager capacity. He brings with him a wealth of experience in electronics used in the automotive security industry.    EDA Technologies has hired ...
  • Cape Town to host NLA’s 2015 T&M conference
    25 February 2015, News
    South Africa’s National Laboratory Association (NLA) has revealed that Cape Town will, for the first time, host the annual Test and Measurement Conference. Due to be held at the Lord Charles Hotel in ...

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.