Every now and then scientists are making new things and often some of them become the world’s fastest, the world’s thinnest, the world’s biggest or something like that. So what latest do we have in this list? Well, the world’s thinnest electric generator!
Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Columbia Engineering in the US have created a layer of graphene-like material that generates electricity every time its stretched, and could power the wearable technology of the future. The layer of the material is just one atom thick. A single one-atom-thick layer of the material is able to generate 15 millivolts of electricity when stretched.
Scientists also found that as the number of layers increased, the amount of current generated decreased, until eventually the material got too thick and stopped producing any electricity at all. They also found that when one-atom-thick layers of MoS2 were put into arrays, together they were capable of generating a large amount of electricity.
James Hone, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia engineering and co-leader of the research, said in a press release, “This material – just a single layer of atoms – could be made as a wearable device, perhaps integrated into clothing, to convert energy from your body movement to electricity and power wearable sensors or medical devices, or perhaps supply enough energy to charge your cell phone in your pocket.”
However, this new electrical generator is an example of piezoelectricity, or electricity that is generated from pressure. Piezoelectric materials have huge potential to be used to create materials that can charge devices. But until now, scientists have struggled to make these materials thin and flexible enough to be practical. Now scientists have predicted that a substance capable of forming single-atom-thick molecules, or two-dimensional layers, would be highly piezoelectric.
It is important to be noted here that the generator is made from molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), which is a clear, flexible and extremely light material that opens up huge possibilities for the future of electricity generation. Scientists have published the results of their research in Nature. For more details, hit the links below.