Nanotechnology Fabric Generates Electricity, Not For Bed-Wetter

The Wang's nano-squad at Georgia Tech has developed a microfiber-infused nanogenerator to harvest energy from physical movement. The fiber can be embedded into human wearable shirt, then harness power from simply walking around or even from a slight breeze.

According to Professor Zhong L Wang, the nano-fiber-power takes advantages of the semiconductive properties of zinc oxide nanostructures, tiny wires 1,800 times thinner than human hair. The wires when infused into the fabric formed pairs of microscopic brush-like structures, shaped like a baby-bottle brush.

The fibers in each pair are coated with gold, serve as an electrode. As the bristles brush together through a physical movement, electrical energy is converted though mechanical motion.

The researchers estimated 80 milliwatts of power can be achieved though one square meter of nanowire-infused fabric, enough to recharge some portable music players.

Unfortunately for bed-wetter, the zinc oxide degrades when wet but they are working on a water-sealed fiber to protect the fabric.

[cdr-info via Georgia Tech]