The researchers have found a rubber film that generates electricity when stressed and could used as a sensor.

Piezoelectirc rubber film, wearabale charged rubber film, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, DorinaOpris, mechanical movements, electrical impulses, piezoelectric effect, pressure touches Researchers have developed a rubber film that generates electricity when stressed and could potentially be used as a sensor, integrated into clothing or even implanted in the human body. (Image Source: Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology)
The rubber film will generates electricity when stressed and could potentially be used as a sensor, integrated into clothing or even implanted in the human body, for instance, to power a pacemaker. The new material developed by researchers from Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) is a thin, organic, flexible film that generates electricity if stretched and compressed. The material could probably even be used to obtain energy from the human body. Implanting  it near the heart will generate electricity from the heartbeat. This could power pacemakers or other implanted devices, eliminating the need for invasive operations to change the battery.The piezoelectric effect, the specially designed rubber is able to convert mechanical movements into electrical charges. The trick behind the generated current is the internal polarisation which changes when the rubber film is mechanically stressed. For a long time, the piezoelectric effect was only known for crystals. The effect could only be used in certain applications as these are heavy and solid.TheEmpa researchers succeeded in giving the new material piezoelectric properties. There is a wealth of potential applications for the novel rubber film. It could be used to construct pressure sensors, for example. If the material is compressed, an electrical impulse is produced that can be received and “understood” by devices. This can be used to develop a novel type of control buttons, but also a sensitive skin for robots that can feel (pressure) touches.The film might be useful in clothing to either monitor the wearer’s activities or generate electricity from their movements, according to the researchers.
Piezoelectric Effect :The Curie brothers soon discovered the inverse piezoelectric effect. It was after they verified that when an electric field was enforced onto crystal leads, it led to the malformation or disorder to the crystal lead—now called the inverse piezoelectric effect.The term piezoelectricity comes from the Greek word piezo meaning to squeeze or press. Interestingly, electric in Greek means amber. Amber also happened to be a source of electrical charge.

[printfriendly]