Walk, run, wave to a friend or have a boogie in your chair – every time you move you’re expending energy that gets lost into the environment. But what if that energy could be harvested and used to power electronic devices? This clever device is a tiny charger that captures energy from movement – such as being bent or pressed – and converts it into electricity. It’s made from nano-scale layers of a chemical called phosphorene (also known as black phosphorus) which generate a tiny voltage when put under physical strain as charged molecules (ions) get shuttled around inside the layered structure. These devices are thinner, more flexible and better at harnessing energy from walking motions than previous similar inventions. Although the amount of electricity they generate is very small it could still be enough to charge medical implants or monitors, so you won’t be able to charge your phone any time soon!
Written by Kat Arney
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.