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:

  • Digital TV set-top box rollout commences
    27 January 2016, News
    Households in the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) area of the Northern Cape received Christmas presents in the form of free set-top boxes for digital terrestrial TV.
  • Wi-Fi range set to double
    27 January 2016, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    Wi-Fi HaLow extends Wi-Fi into the 900 MHz band, enabling the low-power connectivity necessary for applications including sensor and wearables.
  • Bluetooth spec is getting new features and upgrades in 2016
    27 January 2016, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    Key updates include longer range, higher speeds and mesh networking, aimed at enabling fast-growing industries such as smart home, industrial automation, location-based services and smart infrastructure.
  • Having mastered shipping, Amazon has begun chipping
    27 January 2016, News
    After having purchased Annapurna Labs last year in preparation for this gambit, the online retailer has launched the Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line.
  • Ready, set-top box, go!
    EMP Handbook 2016, Technews Publishing, News
    Set-top boxes for South Africa’s long awaited migration from analog to digital terrestrial television broadcasts are finally rolling off production lines.
  • Security sector does SA proud
    EMP Handbook 2016, Technews Publishing, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services, News
    Four leading manufacturers share their thoughts on the state of the South African security industry, and speak about some of their recent and imminent developments.
  • Companies have until 2018 to update their ISO 9001 practices
    EMP Handbook 2016, News
    A new revision to the Quality Management System standard introduces substantial changes, considerably more than were produced during the 2008 revision.
  • Breast cancer scanner made in SA ­offers ray of hope
    EMP Handbook 2016, News
    By uniquely combining full-field digital mammography and 3D automated breast ultrasound, CapeRay’s Aceso machine can dramatically improve diagnostic success.
  • Equipment selection guide
    EMP Handbook 2016, News
    Equipment selection guide
  • Consumables, tools & accessories selection guide
    EMP Handbook 2016, News
    Consumables, tools & accessories selection guide
  • EMP 2016 Handbook Directory
    EMP Handbook 2016, News
    EMP 2016 Handbook Directory
  • From the editor's desk: Security lacking, encourages hacking
    27 January 2016, Technews Publishing, News
    The world of technology is abuzz nowadays with talk of the so-called Internet of Things, or IoT. Indeed, one can find the phrase sprinkled liberally across the pages of this very publication. Yup, the ...

 
 
         
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.